Sep 172023
 


Henri Cartier Bresson Paris 1952

 

BLM vs Proud Boys: The Shocking Hypocrisy Of US Law (Robert Bridge)
Trump Decries ‘Double Standard’ in Documents Case (ET)
Court Documents Reveal Number Of Trump Private Messages Disclosed By X (RT)
Jeffrey Sachs: US Sanctions Against Russia and China Destined to Fail (Sp.)
‘Ground War’ in Ukraine May Be Over – Macgregor (Sp.)
Kiev’s Requests for Arms Exceed NATO’s Production Capacity (Sp.)
Ukrainian Army Lost 9 Out Of Every 10 Troops – Conscription Officer (RT)
NATO Says It Can Deploy 3.5 Million Soldiers If Attacked (RT)
Zelensky Issues Warning To EU Neighbors (RT)
Zelensky Political Rival Charged With Treason (RT)
Orban Explains What Might Force West To Want Peace In Ukraine (RT)
Currency Wars Versus Gold Standards (Macleod)
Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Sign Charter to Create Defense Alliance (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Obama Bush
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703116084801413435

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson: “Criticize the drug companies, question the war in Ukraine, and you can be pretty sure this is going to happen.”

 

 

Russell

 

 

 

 

Captcha
https://twitter.com/i/status/1703082692609204482

 

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that America today is the living manifestation of “Universe 25”. Russia is not. Unless we change course, and get back to basics, we’re screwed. Russia wins by default—meaning that they’re not even trying to win. We’re just losing on our own.
– Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

“America is looking more like a bona-fide banana republic than ever before.”

BLM vs Proud Boys: The Shocking Hypocrisy Of US Law (Robert Bridge)

Between May 2020 and January 6, 2021, the United States experienced two tumultuous events – one at the hands of liberals, the other of conservatives – that resulted in many millions of dollars in property destruction, as well as injuries and loss of life. Yet just one side in those battles suffered severe legal consequences for its actions. During the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots that swept the US in the summer of 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd, protesters went on a rampage and stormed various government buildings in Portland, Oregon. One of the attackers, Kevin Benjamin Weier, 35, was arrested for setting fire to the federal courthouse. Many (right-wing) commentators have described that willful destruction of government property, and the assorted acts of violence by other protesters, as seditious acts against the US government.

For over 100 days the protesters kept Portland residents under a state of siege, as Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler seemed unwilling or unable to halt the violence. That should come as no surprise considering that the Portland City Council slashed millions from the police budget, and even ordered the police to stop using tear gas in a futile attempt to appease the mob (Note to Portland: it’s impossible to appease a mob). Finally, President Donald Trump shocked liberal sensitivities by sending in federal agents to help restore order and arrest the perpetrators. So what happened to Antifa member Kevin Benjamin Weier and his motley crew of anarchists? While many protesters around the country had their prison bail paid by Hollywood celebrities, Mr. Weier, whose felony charge made him eligible for 10 years in the slammer, together with a hefty $250,000 fine, was ultimately sentenced to two years’ probation and a $200 fine. In other words, about the same slap on the wrist that a Los Angeles shoplifter could expect to receive.

Just six months after the BLM/Antifa protests had subsided, the American people were treated to yet another historic display of pent-up passions as thousands of disaffected Trump supporters descended upon the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to express their outrage over an election they believed had been stolen. While there were many scenes of chaos and pandemonium, with rioters breaching the entrance and carrying out acts of vandalism and looting, everything was not quite as it had seemed. Two years after the storming of the Capitol Building, 40,000 hours of surveillance videotape from that day were finally released, and the images show that the establishment media had been cherry-picking the worst scenes for public consumption.

“Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection,” remarked Tucker Carlson, the first journalist to expose the tapes in their entirety. “In fact, it demolishes the claim.” Although there was undoubtedly a group of hooligans among the thousands of January 6th protesters responsible for wreaking a lot of havoc, the overwhelming majority of the participants “were not insurrectionists,” Carlson continued. “They were orderly and meek. They were sightseers.” Such a conclusion will be very difficult for most people to believe, but that’s only because the media continually broadcasted the most damning images from the Capitol Building, reinforcing the narrative of seditious rioters.

Now compare that harsh ‘made for television’ portrayal of January 6 with CNN’s “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests” style of reporting it used to downplay the severity of the George Floyd protests. And while the Democrats and aligned media continue to sell the January 6 riot as a violent right-wing insurgency, as they pursue their primary goal of putting ‘dictator’ Donald Trump behind bars, the only person to suffer a violent death on January 6 was a protester named Ashli Babbitt, a 36-year-old military veteran. A Capitol Police officer shot her in the neck, with a later explanation by the department stating that he had “potentially saved Members [of Congress] and staff from serious injury and possible death.”

All things considered, the damage done by left-wing protesters during the George Floyd protests were far worse than the crimes committed by the Trump supporters on Capitol Hill. That becomes more evident when it is considered that acts of arson, vandalism, and looting that occurred between May 26 and June 8 caused approximately $1-2 billion in damages nationally, the highest recorded amount from civil disorder in US history. Meanwhile, the monetary damage caused by the Capitol Building protesters was just over $2.7 million. Meanwhile, as we have already discussed, there have been no serious criminal charges filed against the members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, which brings us to the most hypocritical part of this story.

This week, Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the far-right organization Proud Boys, who wasn’t even in Washington, D.C. on January 6, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to keep Trump in power by force after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the similar-minded group the Oath Keepers, and one-time Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean, were both handed 18-year sentences. The three men were found guilty of breaking the seditious conspiracy law, which was enacted after the Civil War to arrest Southerners who continued to take up arms against the US government.

In order for prosecutors to win a seditious conspiracy case, they must prove that two or more people conspired to “overthrow, put down or to destroy by force”the US government, or that they plotted to use force to challenge government authority. Although the case has already been settled, the jury is still out for many political pundits who, pointing to the January 6 surveillance videos, argue that the case for violent insurrection is weak at best. Now, with former President Donald Trump heading for court on March 4, 2024, just eight months before the presidential election, America is looking more like a bona-fide banana republic than ever before.

Read more …

“This is all about the Presidential Records Act,” President Trump said. “I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents, classified or unclassified. And frankly, when I have them, they become unclassified. “People think you have to go through a ritual—you don’t. At least, in my opinion, you don’t.”

“Hillary Clinton destroyed documents while under subpoena—while under subpoena—and wasn’t even charged. … Does it make you angry?” “Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, it makes me angry.”

Trump Decries ‘Double Standard’ in Documents Case (ET)

President Trump is facing criminal charges in two federal cases relating to his handling of classified documents and his challenge of the 2020 presidential election results. Two additional cases have been brought by Democrat prosecutors in New York and Atlanta, though the former president holds that those cases were also brought in coordination with the Biden Department of Justice. “These are Biden indictments,” he said. “This is a guy that is grossly incompetent—I don’t even believe it’s him. It’s the people, the fascists that’s around him. Because I don’t believe he’s smart enough to do this, if you want to know the truth.” In the documents case, brought by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, President Trump stands accused of willful retention of national defense information, obstruction, and making false statements.

But the case, according to the former president, revolves around a “fake crime.” “They create a fake crime, and then they say, ‘Oh, you obstructed.’ This is a fake thing that they’ve done,” he said. Pointing to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, he contended that the law gives him the authority to decide which records he can keep. As support for those claims, President Trump cited a similar case involving audio recordings that President Bill Clinton kept in a sock drawer. The recordings were made during President Clinton’s time in office, but when government watchdog group Judicial Watch sued to obtain access to them, a federal judge dismissed the case. The 42nd president, the judge ruled, had the authority to decide which records qualified as personal and which were presidential.

“This is all about the Presidential Records Act,” President Trump said. “I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents, classified or unclassified. And frankly, when I have them, they become unclassified. “People think you have to go through a ritual—you don’t. At least, in my opinion, you don’t.” Further noting that the statute in question is civil rather than criminal, he asserted, “I did absolutely nothing wrong.” President Trump has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges filed against him. But while he may not be worried about a conviction, one emotion he admitted to feeling was anger. Ms. Kelly, noting that he had not been accused of destroying classified documents, said: “Hillary Clinton destroyed documents while under subpoena—while under subpoena—and wasn’t even charged. … Does it make you angry?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “Yeah, it makes me angry.” President Trump noted that Ms. Clinton smashed her cell phones and destroyed tens of thousands of emails after receiving a congressional subpoena, yet former FBI Director James Comey concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against her. “Yeah, there’s a double standard in this country, and the people aren’t standing for it,” he said. “People get it.”

Read more …

“X lost its appeal and was found to be in contempt of court for delaying its compliance with the search warrant, leading to the $350,000 fine being imposed.”

Court Documents Reveal Number Of Trump Private Messages Disclosed By X (RT)

X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter, provided access to at least 32 of Donald Trump’s private messages as part of an investigation into the former US president’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to recently unsealed court filings. Separate court documents from August previously stated that federal prosecutors had received“some volume” of Trump’s private messages. The exact number – 32 – was revealed on Friday as part of a court filing submitted by X, in which it is seeking to appeal a $350,000 fine for failing to comply with the terms of a search warrant. The content of the messages remains unclear. The warrant, which was served on the social media giant in January, gave X ten days to submit Trump’s data from between October 2020 and January 2021, a time span which the filing noted “includes the November 2020 presidential election and the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.”

In addition to the search warrant, X was also issued with a so-called nondisclosure order designed to ensure that Trump was not aware that prosecutors had gained access to his private messages. This was, the court filing said, to prevent “destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses or serious jeopardy to this investigation.” However, X told the investigation that it would be unable to comply with the search warrant as it had not been given enough time to do so. The company also objected to the nondisclosure order due to what it said was the “intense publicity around the investigation.” “Indeed, the materials Twitter produced to the government included only 32 direct-message items, constituting a minuscule proportion of the total production,” prosecutors said.

They added that the nondisclosure request was not a “hypothetical consideration” given alleged attempts by Trump to obstruct another federal investigation into his supposed mishandling of classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump denies all wrongdoing in each of the cases against him. “The former president propagated false claims of fraud (including swearing to false allegations in a federal court filing),” prosecutors wrote in a legal brief, adding that he had “pressured state and federal officials to violate their legal duties, and retaliated against those who did not comply to his demand, culminating in violence at the US Capitol on January 6.” X lost its appeal and was found to be in contempt of court for delaying its compliance with the search warrant, leading to the $350,000 fine being imposed.

Read more …

“The more energetic and dynamic part of the world, the faster growing part of the world quantitatively, is not on the US-European side of the story..”

Jeffrey Sachs: US Sanctions Against Russia and China Destined to Fail (Sp.)

Sanctions have failed to bring Russia to its knees, as the nation’s economy has proved to be far more resilient than Western policymakers ever imagined. Back in March-February 2022 they projected that a bunch of restrictions would be effectively a knockout punch against the Russian economy, that they would bring military production to a halt and that they could even potentially cause mass political unrest. None of that has materialized. Why did Western analysts get Russia so wrong? “When it comes to Russia, the idea that this would be some kind of a ‘knockout blow’ for the conflict in Ukraine was utterly naive and predictably a failure,” renowned economist and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs told Sputnik. “But I think the Russian economy also was clearly vastly underestimated. And what the West gets wrong on all aspects of the Ukraine crisis is that the world is not united with the West. The West is just a small part of the world. Most of the world wants to stay clear of this crisis.”

[..] While Western sanctions have failed to cripple Russia’s economy and hinder China’s rise, they at the same time have given a boost to the development of the two countries, prompting them to explore new markets, develop new technologies and forge new partnerships. For instance, over the past two years, one has seen Chinese auto companies become major players on the international market, even overtaking German car producers. And one of the major markets for Chinese cars has been the Russian market, in large part because last year a lot of Western brands, a lot of Japanese brands left the Russian market, which created a void that the Chinese companies could fill.
“Well, I think certainly there is a huge boomerang effect of these sanctions. Europe is the biggest loser of the sanctions, this is for sure, because Russia’s low-cost production, both of primary energy certainly, but also of fertilizers and many other commodity-based manufactured goods going to Europe are now going to China and going to the rest of Asia. And Europe is in outright recession,” said Sachs.

“If there is a particular loser from all of this, it’s the German industry which had probably the closest symbiotic relationship with the Russian economy over the last 30 years,” added the professor. Germany is the only G7 nation that will see economic contraction this year, according to the IMF. The IMF attributes the trend to weak production output as well as a contraction in two consecutive quarters (Q4 in 2022 and Q1 in 2023). The latter factor prompted international economists to conclude in mid-July that the country had fallen into a technical recession. The destruction of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, as well as Berlin’s decision to follow in Washington’s footsteps and slap energy sanctions on Russia, backfired on German manufacturers, leading to relocation of businesses and, eventually, deindustrialization.

“All of the fervor against Nord Stream, for example, was a part of the US desire to ensure that Germany and Russia never got too cozy economically,” Sachs remarked. “And as Russia therefore turns to the broader BRICS world and the rest of the world, it’s those countries that benefit from these linkages,” the professor continued. “And it’s Europe that is absolutely left behind. One of those beneficiaries is China. Clearly. Because China is a crowded, densely populated economy with natural resources, but on a per capita basis, relatively low. So it’s very complementary with Russia. Add in the common shared high-tech element, and that’s an added benefit of this increasingly strong relationship between China and Russia on the economic side, because there is a lot of technology transfer that can go in both directions.

Add in the building of infrastructure across Eurasia, connecting Russia and China in a number of ways. That also is of great strength.” So, in the end, the Western sanctions policy has not led to any kind of a deep, prolonged crisis for either Russia or China. Quite the contrary, according to the professor. “The more energetic and dynamic part of the world, the faster growing part of the world quantitatively, is not on the US-European side of the story,” Sachs concluded.

Read more …

Terror strikes and long-range missiles do not win a war….

‘Ground War’ in Ukraine May Be Over – Macgregor (Sp.)

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine may be about to move to a new phase amid the severe losses sustained by the Kiev regime forces, warns former senior Pentagon adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor. With thousands of Ukrainian losses during the ongoing “counteroffensive”, Kiev appears to be “desperate for manpower” and is trying to rectify this problem by “forcing people into uniform inside the country that are not really capable of fighting” and attempting to repatriate Ukrainians of military age from overseas, Macgregor said during an interview with Norwegian political scientist Glenn Diesen. “So I think the Ukrainian ground war, for all intents and purposes, is either at a standstill or perhaps even over,” he remarked.

Macgregor did point out, however, that Kiev may instead resort to attacking Russia with long-range weapons acquired from Western sponsors, such as Storm Shadow and Taurus missiles, with the colonel suggesting that the recent Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol was an example of such a strike. He noted that this course of actions does not bode well for Ukraine as it essentially helps convince Moscow that the Ukrainian conflict can only be resolved through military means. Macgregor also lamented that the US leadership mulls what other armaments “short of a nuclear weapon” they can use via the Ukrainians instead of attempting to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict with Russia. “The Russians would love to sit down and talk to somebody who is willing to examine where we stand – no one will do it,” he said. “So this is why I call this phase of the war, it’s no longer the Ukrainian phase, it is now the Biden phase of the war. And the Biden phase of the war is long range strikes.”

He warned that such long range strikes into the Russian territory will not convince the Russians to acquiesce to the US’ demands, as the strategists in Washington apparently believe. “If anything, it is going to persuade the Russians that they must attack and attack decisively to the west,” Macgregor stated. Finding itself unable to defeat the Russian forces on the battlefield, the regime in Kiev has resorted to carrying out terror strikes against population centers and civilian infrastructure in Russia. While so far these attacks were mostly conducted using drones and Soviet-era ordnance, as well as by sending teams of Ukrainian terrorists across the border, odds are high that Kiev may also start actively using for these purposes the long-range missiles provided by its NATO sponsors.

Read more …

Again, this would take years to address.

Kiev’s Requests for Arms Exceed NATO’s Production Capacity (Sp.)

Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer on Saturday admitted that Ukraine’s requests for weapons and ammunition, as well as the volume of defense production used in Ukraine, are “huge” and exceed the production capabilities of the alliance. “The volume of the weapons and the ammunition that Ukraine requires is huge … The scale and the volume of what is used is going beyond our production capacity,” Bauer said at a press conference in Norway. The Military Committee Chair also said that NATO countries that decide to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine have to think about the risks for their own security.

“When they think about giving away weapons or ammunition, they have to think on the decision itself, ‘Am I giving away?’. Second, what is the risk that I take against my own readiness in NATO, in my own country,” Bauer said. In this regard, the military official called on the NATO countries to address issues of increasing production capacity in the defense sector more quickly and efficiently. Moscow has condemned foreign military supplies to Ukraine. In April 2022, Russia sent a diplomatic note to all NATO countries on the issue of arms supplies to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that any cargo containing weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia.

Read more …

… and we’re out of soldiers.

“..out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”

“..conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis..”

Ukrainian Army Lost 9 Out Of Every 10 Troops – Conscription Officer (RT)

Up to nine out of ten Ukrainian draftees who joined the army a year ago were either killed or wounded in action, a senior conscription officer in the Poltava Region said on Friday, according to local media. Speaking at a meeting of Poltava City Council, Lt. Colonel Vitaly Berezhny, who serves as acting head of the territorial center of recruitment and social support, admitted that local authorities are struggling with their conscription campaign, having fulfilled the mobilization plan by only 13%, which puts the city in last place in the whole region. Berezhny was quoted by local media outlet Poltavshina as saying the military urgently needs reinforcements, as “out of 100 people who joined the units last fall, 10-20 remain, the rest are dead, wounded or disabled.”

To remedy the manpower shortage, the officer suggested rolling out draft notification posts in a bid to “establish the presence of conscripts.” He added that the region was also planning to create a large mechanized brigade, and urged local deputies to assist in the effort. Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the start of Russia’s military campaign in February 2022, banning most men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country. In August, former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said Kiev had not yet fulfilled its existing mobilization plan, suggesting there was no need for another draft drive. However, earlier this month, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry issued a decree allowing the conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically treated tuberculosis.

At the same time, Ukrainian authorities embarked on a massive campaign against corruption in the country’s conscription system, with President Vladimir Zelensky recently firing all regional military conscription officials. Berezhny’s acknowledgment comes amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive that has been underway for more than three months but has failed to gain significant ground. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated Ukraine’s losses at more than 71,000 troops. He also suggested that Kiev could enter into negotiations with Moscow only when it comes close to running out of resources to throw at Russian defences, but concluded that Ukraine would need those talks only to restore its battered military potential.

Read more …

Please don’t ask how battle-ready those troops would be… Good thing nobody is planning to attack NATO.

Logos: “.. you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready..”

NATO Says It Can Deploy 3.5 Million Soldiers If Attacked (RT)

NATO, in accordance with its new defense plans, can deploy 300,000 soldiers in the first month of a potential attack on the bloc, while the total number of the alliance’s military personnel could reach 3.5 million people, Chair of the NATO Military Committee Adm. Rob Bauer said, Report informs via Sputnik. “If we are talking about collective defense, you do not have the time to prepare for an attack if the attack happens. And it is not us planning the attack, it is the opponent planning the attack. If they attack, you have to be ready. Therefore, we need more soldiers at high readiness … We are talking, in NATO as a whole if Finland and Sweden have joined, of about 3.5 million soldiers in the alliance. So the 300,000 is the number … that we foresee at high readiness available for basically the first 30 days if it is necessary,” Bauer told reporters at a press conference with Norwegian Chief of Defense Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen.

Read more …

“We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”

Zelensky Issues Warning To EU Neighbors (RT)

Kiev will respond if EU countries decide to impose unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian grain in contravention of decisions made in Brussels, President Vladimir Zelensky has said. On Friday, the European Commission opted not to extend a ban on deliveries of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The curbs, which were introduced in May, expired on September 15. While the Bulgarian authorities supported the move, the other four EU member states said they would now introduce restrictions at national level due to the need to protect their agricultural industries. Zelensky wrote on Telegram that he had talked to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the phone, telling her that he was “deeply grateful” to her for “keeping her word and maintaining the rules of the free market.”

The decision by Brussels not to extend the ban “is an example of true unity and trust between Ukraine and the EU. Europe always wins when the rules work and the treaties are fulfilled,” he said. However, the Ukrainian leader added that “now it’s important [to make sure] European unity also works on a bilateral level; that the neighbors support Ukraine” amid its conflict with Russia. If Poland, Hungary, Romania or Slovakia make decisions that “violate EU law, Ukraine will respond in a civilized way,” Zelensky warned, without specifying the countermeasures to which Kiev may resort to protect its interests. After learning about the ruling by the European Commission on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would “extend the ban on Ukrainian grain. We won’t listen to Berlin, von der Leyen… because it’s in the interest of the Polish farmers.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a similar plan, saying he was preparing for “a serious fight in Brussels” over the grain issue. Warsaw and Budapest have vigorously resisted deliveries of Ukrainian grain, despite having quite opposite views on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Poland has been one of the main backers of Ukraine in the EU, providing the country with weapons and insisting on increasingly harsh measures against Russia, while the Hungarian authorities have consistently criticized the bloc’s sanction on Moscow as ineffective, and insist on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Read more …

He banned almost all opposition. And the one he didn’t touch now turns out to be a Russian collaborator?!

Zelensky Political Rival Charged With Treason (RT)

Member of the Ukrainian parliament and former emergency-services minister Nestor Shufrich has been arrested and is being held on charges of treason issued by a court in Kiev, the country’s capital. According to footage from Friday’s hearing published by outlet RBK-Ukraine, the judge has ruled that Shufrich will stay behind bars for the next two months. The politician, who was a member of the Opposition Platform-For Life party before it was banned as pro-Russian on the orders of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last summer, has also been denied bail. Earlier in the day, masked operatives from Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) arrived at the MP’s home, informing the 56-year-old that he’s suspected of treason and searching the premises.

The SBU said in a statement that its investigators have “collected a well-argued evidence base about the anti-Ukrainian activities” of Shufrich. According to the agency, the parliamentarian was an agent of Moscow whose main task was to promote pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine through his media appearances. “He systematically disseminated the Kremlin’s narratives, that the Ukrainian state is allegedly an artificial entity, that Ukraine and Russia have a single history, and that Ukrainians and Russians are supposedly ‘one nation,’” the SBU claims. According to local media, items with Soviet and Russian symbols, including medals, ID cards and the Saint George’s ribbons with which Russians celebrate World War II victory, were found in the search of Shufrich’s home.

The lawmaker also allegedly owned a collection of Russian military uniforms. The investigators also reportedly found a 2014 document that details a plan for the autonomy of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. Both territories, as well as Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, officially became part of Russia last year after referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled the votes a “sham.” Shufrich has been an MP since 1998, appearing in six iterations of the Verkhovna Rada. He also held the post of Ukraine’s Emergency Services Minister in 2006-2007, and in 2010, and was also deputy head of the country’s National Security and Defense Council, from 2010 to 2012.

Russian political analyst and former MP Sergey Markov suggested that Shufrich’s arrest might be a sign that Ukraine is preparing to stage a presidential election next year after all. President Zelensky said earlier that the vote will not be held as the country is under martial law. Shufrich used to be “one of the most pro-Russian MPs and one of most vivid critics of Zelensky,” but amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev he “fully backed” the president, Markov wrote on Telegram. The analyst said that the MP is being detained by Ukrainian authorities over concerns that he “could suddenly run [in the election] and steal some of the Zelensky’s former voters,” who are disappointed in the president.

Read more …

“If there is something that might force European capitals to reconsider their position on the conflict, it is the further deterioration of the economic situation on the continent..”

Orban Explains What Might Force West To Want Peace In Ukraine (RT)

European nations might eventually forgo their support for Kiev’s military efforts in the ongoing conflict with Russia due to their own economic hardships, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told nationwide Kossuth Radio on Friday. The conflict that has lasted for more than a year and a half is affecting the European economy, which “will not be like we want it to be” for as long as it goes on, Orban told the radio’s ‘Good Morning, Hungary!’ show. Yet, “war supporters are in the overwhelming majority” among EU governments, he pointed out. If there is something that might force European capitals to reconsider their position on the conflict, it is the further deterioration of the economic situation on the continent, the prime minister believes.

Most people in Europe already share Hungary’s position on the issue, which is anti-war, he claimed. Economic setbacks could force these people to “exert pressure” on their governments, he added. “Deterioration of the economic situation in the West will force countries to stand up for peace,” Orban said. According to the Hungarian prime minister, the outcome of next year’s US presidential elections might also heavily affect the West’s general position on the issue. “There are two possibilities: … the presidential candidates will either support the war or announce the end of the war,” he said. Orban said he believes that a US president is fairly capable of “putting an end” to the conflict.

That does not mean that Europe should just “wait for a fairy to end the war with a magic wand,” he added. The prime minister criticized the European approach to the conflict so far by saying that “181 billion of European money” has been spent on supporting Kiev but “we have not come any closer to peace.” It is unclear if he referred to dollars or euros. According to Ukraine Support Tracker data regularly published by Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the EU institutions and EU nations together pledged a total of €131.9 billion ($139.8) for Ukraine between January 2022 and July 2023.

The UK, Norway and Switzerland, which are not part of the EU, together pledged an additional €23.31 billion ($24.8 billion) over the same period, bringing the total amount of European commitments to €155.21 billion ($165.66), data provided by the Kiel Institute showed. Viktor Orban has long maintained that the West was making a mistake by pursuing military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine. He has repeatedly stated that there could be no military solution to the conflict, adding that the US and its allies need to stop arming Kiev and seek peace with Russia instead.

Read more …

“It allows for the creation and destruction of credit determined solely by the needs of the Russian people, both as businessmen and consumers.”

Currency Wars Versus Gold Standards (Macleod)

In the middle of a war, usually a government suspends its gold standard. This would suggest that Russia can only consider a gold standard after its special operation in Ukraine is over. But the modern equivalent of a gold standard, the currency board, has been successfully established in modern times in nations with far worse budget deficits than Russia. Russia was in the fortunate position of a budget deficit of only 2.3% of GDP last year, despite military spending. This year, military spending has soared, and at a guess the deficit will be about 5% of GDP this year, but government debt to GDP will still be about 20%.

Anything other than ball-park numbers for the Russian economy are difficult to come by, and the volatility of the rouble is a further analytical hazard. But some of these numbers are not substantially different from where Britain was economically in 1816, when a return to the gold standard was planned — the exception being her estimated debt to GDP number, which at nearly 200% was ten times that of Russia today. Therefore, there is no reason why Russia cannot put the rouble onto a gold standard immediately.

In doing so, the objective is simple: to ensure that the purchasing power of circulating credit retains its value in terms of goods and services with as little fluctuation as possible. It would allow savers to accumulate credit balances in their bank accounts, and for businessmen to calculate the profitability of their investments with greater certainty. With income tax currently at a flat 13% rate and corporation tax at 20%, in these conditions economic progress will advance surprisingly rapidly. And there is every reason to expect Russia would quickly become an economic counterweight to the sheer power of China, rather than living off the depletion of her natural resources. It is necessary not just for Russia to distance herself from the fate of the western fiat currency system, but also for President Putin’s legacy.

The method of ensuring monetary stability is equally simple: to bind credit denominated in roubles to gold, which both in law and naturally is the money of the people. It is the highest form of credit, there being no counterparty risk. Its purchasing power in the general sense has held steady through millennia. Importantly, it removes the currency from political control and dollar influences. It allows for the creation and destruction of credit determined solely by the needs of the Russian people, both as businessmen and consumers.

Read more …

Message to Macron.

Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Sign Charter to Create Defense Alliance (Sp.)

The leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have signed a charter establishing an alliance of Sahel states to create a collective defense architecture, Mali’s interim president for the transitional period, Assimi Goita, said on Saturday. “I have signed today with the leaders of Burkina Faso and Niger the Liptako Gourma Charter, establishing the Alliance of Sahel States to create an architecture of collective defense and mutual assistance for the benefit of our people,” Goita said on X. An attack on the sovereignty or territorial integrity of one or more parties to the charter will be regarded as aggression against the other parties and will require their assistance, including the use of military force, the document read. The parties also commit to fighting terrorism and organized crime on the territory of Sahel states, the charter added.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


In 1913 Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived together in Vienna

 

 

 

Gorilla babies

 

 

 

 

Buffalo

 

 

Flik flak
https://twitter.com/i/status/1702752462971572660

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 022023
 
 September 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


William-Adolphe Bouguereau La naissance de Vénus 1879

 

Happenings Await (Jim Kunstler)
White House Preparing For Biden Impeachment – NBC (RT)
Biden Dragged US Into Proxy War With Russia That Moscow Is Winning – MTG (Sp.)
Rise of BRICS ‘Devastating’ For US – MTG (RT)
Nikki Haley Calls US Senate ‘Most Privileged Nursing Home In The Country’ (G.)
Conflict Should Be Transferred To ‘Russian Territory’ – Ukraine Spy Chief (RT)
US To Send Depleted Uranium Munitions To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
How Much Do Mercenaries Make in Ukraine? (Sp.)
Only 10% of Western Firms Have Left Russia – Austria (RT)
African Coups Expose And Unravel A Web Of Western Meddling (Marsden)
Russia Inherits Prigozhin’s African Odyssey (Bhadrakumar)
History’s Starting to Rhyme – The Fight for Uranium (Jim Rickards)
JPMorgan Flagged Over $1 Billion In Suspicious Epstein Transfers (ZH)
BRICS and the Future of Humanity (Solo)

 

 

 

 

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697822863548612813

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Tucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697603136276598857

 

 

DAX Anthony

 

 

 

 

17% of Americans got the latest booster. They’ve seen enough.

“..the party will be so badly damaged by then that it will have no other option except to let Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in to drive out the remaining demons..”

Happenings Await (Jim Kunstler)

In what might be one of his last official acts, “Joe Biden” announced last week that Americans would be “encouraged” to get a new-and-improved mRNA vaccine booster against the new Covid virus strain EG.5 “Eris” (named after the Greek goddess of strife and discord). The “president,” said he asked Congress for funding “for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works…. It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not.” Say, what…? Did the earlier vaccines not work, Joe? Most assuredly they did not. The shots injured, disabled, and killed a great many people, and it staggers the rational mind that the CDC is still pushing these shots. You might conclude that they’re pretending this didn’t happen to evade responsibility. After all, what would be the consequences if these officials admitted that all the previous Covid vaccines were ineffective and harmful?

And what would be the reaction of the 81.3 percent of the population who got at least one dose of the previous vaccines and the 65.6 percent who are “fully vaccinated” with two or more shots? (Note, statistics from the CDC.) I’ll tell you what would happen: the CDC officials and a great many other persons on the public payroll would be in court on criminal charges. And doctors and hospitals would be subject to so many lawsuits they would never again have time to actually practice medicine, while millions of people with damaged immune systems and wrecked organs take flight like so many black swans flapping into the setting sun of their own prematurely attenuated lives. If you care to be astounded, listen to this talk that Dr. Peter McCullough gave to an audience in New Hampshire a few days ago, calling out all the principals who devised the Covid-19 fiasco by name: Ralph Baric, Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszek, and Francis Collins, and then describing exactly how the dastardly act and the cover-up went down.

Speaking of happenings this autumn, expect the war in Ukraine to come to an end. The news media might omit to inform you about this, but it awaits. Russia will not trumpet its victory, so as to avoid inflaming America’s crazed neo-cons. Rather it will just quietly take charge of its successfully neutralized neighbor, make provision for some sort of administration over what remains of the rump state — in a way that affords Russia a sense of permanent security — at the same time that Russia commences new negotiations separately with several European nations to reestablish realistic relations.

The US will be delicately hung out to dry on this. Short of resorting to nuclear World War Three, there is nothing the US can do about it — except for the Democratic Party to blame the whole sorry thing on “Joe Biden” as he is forced to resign from office pending that aforesaid impeachment threat. No other explanation for the end of our Ukraine project will be required. The party of chaos will flounder a while in the very chaos that it induced, trying laughably to switch out Kamala Harris for Gavin Newsom — or some other ploy to stay in business. But the party will be so badly damaged by then that it will have no other option except to let Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in to drive out the remaining demons and save the venerable old org from suicide.

If you think that these various momentous happenings won’t affect the financial markets and the banking system in the coming season, prepare to be amazed. This is how America truly gets to feel the pain, and this might be how the pitchforks finally come out for the people who wrecked our country.

Read more …

Nobody believes McCarthy will actually do it. “He ain’t no Nancy”. He’ll ask for a vote first.

White House Preparing For Biden Impeachment – NBC (RT)

The White House has brought together two dozen legal and media experts to combat an expected Republican effort to impeach US President Joe Biden, NBC reported on Friday, citing a White House aide familiar with the administration’s strategy. According to eight inside sources, the counter-impeachment strategy has reportedly been under development for several months as House Republicans have attempted to investigate the president and his son, Hunter Biden, and their foreign business entanglements. The White House aide who revealed the project to NBC also shared its ultimate goal: to present any impeachment inquiry as an “evidence-free partisan sham that shows a [Republican Party] penchant for chaos.”

The administration’s response will show that its opponents are “out of touch,” one official explained, by juxtaposing Republican attacks on Biden with the president’s work on “economic issues” that affect ordinary Americans. The team has been constructed to prevent any impeachment inquiry from interfering in White House business, the aide explained. This is supposed to allow administration officials to concentrate on their jobs without being “bogged down in the minutia of ongoing investigations.” “Never in modern history has an impeachment been based on no evidence whatsoever,” the aide told the news outlet, implying that taking on the Bidens would constitute such an impeachment.

White House aides on the counter-impeachment team have reportedly spent August’s vacation researching Republican talking points, putting together a message and response team to fight back. They have commissioned polls and studied political ads in the hope of disseminating a unified message supporting Biden to the Democratic Party. The Republican investigation into Biden and his son initially focused on the younger Biden’s alleged crimes, which – according to evidence gathered from a laptop he left in a Delaware repair shop, at least – include influence peddling and corruption as well as more pedestrian drug, gun, and prostitution offenses.

Hunter Biden has not been convicted of anything related to the current investigation, though he was about to enter a guilty plea on tax evasion and gun charges last month before a judge balked at the sweetheart deal he had worked out with prosecutors which would see him avoid a custodial sentence or felony conviction entirely. An issue for an impeachment would be the extent to which the elder Biden was involved in his son’s business deals in countries like Ukraine and China, deals which were directly affected by the policies Joe Biden was making as Vice President under then-president Barack Obama. While the president has denied any knowledge of or participation in his son’s professional activities, email records, as well as the testimony of Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer, contradict his public statements on the matter.

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697067369770758613

Read more …

MTG is, let’s say, a unique voice.

Biden Dragged US Into Proxy War With Russia That Moscow Is Winning – MTG (Sp.)

Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has consistently spoken out against sending more arms supplies to Ukraine. After the Biden administration signed off on the delivery of DPICM cluster munitions to Kiev in July, the congresswoman warned that Washington was dragging the US into an unwanted war with Russia. US President Joe Biden has every single American “involved in a proxy war with Russia” that Moscow “is winning,” Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told an audience gathered at a town hall meeting in Floyd County on August 31. The politician, who has been staunchly opposed to how the Biden administration has been bankrolling the regime in Kiev, told constituents: The Republican politician went on to point out that the intelligence community was blatantly “lying” to Americans, claiming that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, wants to “take over Europe.” “If that was the case… He would be much more aggressive in the war, and he’s not,” the politician, also known by her initials, MTG, emphatically stressed.

“Now, I’m old enough to remember, and I know you are. Every single foreign war America has been involved in… What did we see on television? … Bombing after bombing. Remember all that? Do you guys remember we watched the rockets being fired… We watched troops fighting… How many of you have been able to watch the war in Ukraine that you’re paying for on the nightly news? None of you. You want to know why? America is being lied to about that war. Here’s the tragedy. They’re losing. Russia is winning. That’s the truth,” stated the Georgia congresswoman. MTG weighed in on the cost-of-living issues plaguing the people of America, saying that “energy bills are going up, your groceries are going up… inflation is hurting you. You’re watching your retirement money shrink to nothing because inflation’s going up.” Pointing out that the US federal government was mired in debt “worth $32 trillion,” she queried: “Are we going to end up in another war?”

[..] Reacting to the latest exorbitant military assistance for Ukraine announcement, Marjorie Taylor Greene told the gathering on constituents on August 31: “Washington has sent $113 billion over there. 113 billion. I voted no to every single penny of it. No, I said, no.” She added that there were “innocent people dying every single day” in the Ukraine conflagration. Indeed, despite the massive military assisstance to Kiev, the Ukrainian counteroffensive that started in June has brought no tangible results so far, with the costly Western-gifted weapons destroyed by Russia’s military. The Ukrainian military has sustained tremendous losses, including over 43,000 troops dead and even more wounded. “… But what funding that war means is means we are funding death. We are funding the murder of innocent people,” the congresswoman stressed to the crowd. If the “arrogant leaders” in Washington continue to fund the Ukraine conflagration at the rate they are doing it now, it’s “going to drag on for decades,” said MTG.

Read more …

She’s not wrong here.

Rise of BRICS ‘Devastating’ For US – MTG (RT)

As BRICS gains momentum, the US economy becomes weaker because the members of the grouping can circumvent American sanctions and trade in their own currencies, Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said on Thursday. Speaking to her constituents in Georgia, the Republican congresswoman lashed out at the administration of US President Joe Biden, which she said is turning a blind eye to the rise of BRICS – an economic group which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and accounts for more than a quarter of global GDP. The Republican firebrand claimed that while the Washington is “doing… nonsense” – including providing all kinds of support to Ukraine which is locked in a conflict with Russia – “there are other countries in the world, powerful countries, organizing together because they are tired of the United States.”

In this sense, the BRICS countries are making serious trade agreements “where they are saying: we’ll buy from you, you’ll buy from us, we don’t care about US sanctions and we’ll sell to one another, buy and sell in our own currency, not the US dollar,” she stated. “This is one of the most devastating things that can happen to all of us,” Greene claimed. As BRICS becomes more powerful, the US dollar gets weaker, she said. “And you know what happens to all of us? We’re going to go broke,” the congresswoman predicted, adding that this dynamic will negatively affect the retirement plans and personal savings of ordinary Americans. “What is going to happen to our children, when the US dollar means nothing anymore, because Russia, and China, and India with its huge population of billions of people have more buying power in their own currencies than we do?

This is a very serious concern,” Greene said. The congresswoman’s remarks come on the heels of a historic BRICS summit in South Africa, where the group agreed to an unprecedented expansion, admitting six new countries – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – which will become full-fledged members in 2024. In a declaration summarizing the summit, BRICS, which has historically positioned itself as an alternative to Western-dominated international institutions, reaffirmed its commitment to inclusiveness, while expressing support for the “legitimate aspirations” of African, Asian, and Latin American countries to play a more prominent role in the global arena.

Read more …

“An old political saying, that the word “Senate” comes from the same Latin word as “senile”, is circulating again.”

Nikki Haley Calls US Senate ‘Most Privileged Nursing Home In The Country’ (G.)

The US Senate is “the most privileged nursing home in the country”, the Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said. The former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations, 51, was speaking to Fox News a day after the Republican leader in the Senate, 81-year-old Mitch McConnell, suffered a second freeze in a month, this time while speaking to reporters in Kentucky. “What I will say is, right now, the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country,” Haley said. “I mean, Mitch McConnell has done some great things, and he deserves credit. But you have to know when to leave.”

On Thursday, the congressional physician said McConnell was clear to work, perhaps while suffering the after-effects of concussion, sustained in a fall in March, or dehydration. Other falls have been reported, including a “face plant” at a Washington airport, but McConnell has said he will complete his current six-year term, his seventh, which ends in 2026. It was reported on Thursday that some Republican senators were discussing whether to force a confrontation on the issue of their leader’s health. Haley said: “No one should feel good about seeing [McConnell’s freezes] any more than we should feel good about seeing Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about a lot of what’s happening or seeing Joe Biden’s decline.”

Feinstein, 90, is a Democrat and the senior senator from California. Her health and mental capacity long in question, she has said she will retire next year. Biden, 80, is the oldest president ever elected and would be 86 by the end of his second term if he wins re-election. A recent poll showed that more than 75% of Americans think he is too old to run again. This week, the Guardian reported a claim in a new book that Biden has privately admitted he is occasionally tired. The current Senate is the oldest in US history. An old political saying, that the word “Senate” comes from the same Latin word as “senile”, is circulating again.

Polling shows support for upper age limits for elected officials. Haley has called for mental competency tests for candidates over 75, though aiming such remarks more at Biden than Trump, the 77-year-old Republican frontrunner. “I wouldn’t care if they did [tests] over the age of 50,” Haley told Fox News. “But these people are making decisions on our national security. They’re making decisions on our economy, on the border. “We need to know they’re at the top of their game. You can’t say that right now, looking at Congress.”

Read more …

Russian hardliners are going to get tired of this.

Conflict Should Be Transferred To ‘Russian Territory’ – Ukraine Spy Chief (RT)

Kiev should bring the ongoing hostilities with Moscow to Russian territory, the head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) has said, contradicting Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s earlier statement. Both officials’ comments, however, come as Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev of staging numerous “terrorist attacks” inside Russia. In an interview with Ukrainian TV anchor Natalya Moseichuk, Kirill Budanov touted a transfer of military action to Russian territory as an “excellent idea.” “The war must be extended to other territory – which for us is clearly Russia – and other areas where they have influence,” he said. According to Budanov, such a tactic would help Ukraine stretch and paralyze Russian forces. “The wider the operations are, the better,” the intelligence official added.

Budanov’s remarks starkly contrast with Zelensky’s comments last month when he ruled out attacks on Russian territory, explaining that this “would pose a great risk that we would be left alone” without the West’s help. Around the same time, however, Mikhail Podoliak, a top aide to the Ukrainian leader, said that Kiev’s Western backers supported the destruction of “everything Russian” in the territories it deems “occupied,” including the Crimean Peninsula, a statement the Kremlin shrugged off as wishful thinking. Russian territory, including Moscow, has come under recurring drone raids targeting civilian facilities in recent months. Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attacks, with Podoliak blaming “unidentified” aircraft instead.

In addition to aerial attacks, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of attempting to stage incursions into border regions, resulting in intense skirmishes and civilian deaths. In one notable example, in May, a Ukrainian saboteur group infiltrated the Belgorod region, killing one civilian and injuring several others. Kiev claimed this was an operation conducted by the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), comprised of neo-Nazi militants and another collaborationist group called the “Freedom of Russia Legion.”

Read more …

Yeah, attack Russian territory with these…

US To Send Depleted Uranium Munitions To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

The US is set to become the second country after the UK to greenlight shipments of depleted-uranium shells to Ukraine, according to Reuters, despite concerns that such munitions could have a dramatic negative effect on public health and the environment. The munitions are intended for US Abrams tanks, first of which are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks, the agency reported. According to several unnamed US officials and a “document” cited by Reuters on Saturday, the depleted uranium shells will be part of the next multi-million dollar arms donation expected to be announced next week. The reported plan follows another highly controversial US move to cluster munitions to Ukraine, which had been criticized even by some of Washington’s closest allies.

Should the US approve depleted-uranium shells for Ukraine, it would follow an earlier move by the UK, which announced similar shipments in March. The UK’s decision left Moscow furious, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that the delivery would be “taking this escalation to a new and very serious stage.” Russia’s embassy in London accused the US and its allies of being willing to turn Ukraine into “not only an anti-Russian military shooting range, but also a radioactive landfill.” When these toxic shells first showed up in Ukraine, Moscow warned that the UK “will be held accountable” for the irreparable harm caused to civilians and soldiers alike. However, both UK and US officials have disputed health hazards associated with DU shells – which use a dense uranium core to improve their armor-piercing capabilities – and deny studies that the weapons were linked to a spike in cancer and birth defects in Iraq.

In the wake of the British move, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would respond by placing tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus. He noted that in this respect Moscow’s actions do not differ from those of the US, which has nuclear weapons deployed in five European countries. Moscow said it will only remove these weapons if the US removes its own nuclear missiles from Europe and dismantles the infrastructure associated with them. Ukraine’s Western backers claim that they are not directly participating in the conflict in Ukraine, and have avoided providing certain weapons – notably fighter jets and long-range missiles – that would risk provoking a direct clash with Russia. Nevertheless, they have sent Kiev more than $100 billion worth of arms, while ignoring Moscow’s repeated warnings that every subsequent weapons package brings the US and NATO closer to active participation in the conflict. Furthermore, by enabling Ukraine’s drone attacks on Russian civilians, Western nations have become “sponsors of terrorism,” according to the Kremlin.

Read more …

How much of your money, that is.

How Much Do Mercenaries Make in Ukraine? (Sp.)

The Russian military has reported a major uptick in Ukraine’s recruitment of foreign mercenaries. Estimates on just how much these ‘soldiers of fortune’ get paid vary wildly, from less than $1,000 a month to $2,000 per day. Sputnik did a little digging and spoke to a pair of veteran military experts to try to get to the bottom of things. A Bundeswehr vet who volunteered to fight alongside the Ukrainian Army gave a tell-all interview to German media recently, revealing the surprisingly low going rate of foreigners taking part in NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine “It depends on how much time you spend on the front lines. There is a principle of combat payments – that is, they pay for each day spent in battle…Per month, it turns out to about €2,000-€2,500 euros. For Ukraine, this is quite a lot,” the mercenary said.

He added that troops who spend more time on the front can get even more, up to about €3,000 (or $3,260), per month. The merc’s testimony seems to match up with figures put out in February by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which has been collecting information on potential war crimes in Ukraine. According to investigators’ figures, foreigners in Ukraine receive between 30,000 and 100,000 hryvnia (about $815-$2,710). The Investigative Committee launched criminal cases against 160 mercs from 33 different countries, including Georgia, the US, Latvia, Israel and Sweden related to suspected crimes against Russian troops and civilians.

The ballpark figures have also been separately confirmed in an investigation by French media this summer, which uncovered that mercs attached to Ukraine’s infamous International Legion receive a base salary of €500 euros, and up to €3,000 a month when they’re on the front lines. Volunteers also complained about having to pay out of pocket for vehicles, supplies and even small arms, notwithstanding the nearly $100 billion in aid doled out by the West to date for weapons. The monthly figures are a far cry from the smattering of information reported during the early stages of the crisis last year, including reporting by British media in March 2022 on payments of up to $2,000 per day plus bonuses for multilingual former soldiers willing to head to Ukraine to engage in extraction operations.

It also challenges the traditional range of “security contractor” job postings, which similarly cite a pay rate of $500-$1,000 per day, equivalent to a six-figure salary when annualized (assuming that the fighter lives that long). “$1,000-$2,000 a month, I think, is kind of low. If you told me that’s for a day, I’d say okay, I can see that. Maybe a little on the high side, but up to that amount for a commander or something, yes, I can see that. But if you’re talking on a per month basis, actually it’s quite low for a mercenary type of situation,” Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel-turned international consultant with over two decades of military experience, told Sputnik.

Read more …

“Schallenberg said Russia would remain important for the EU, urging the bloc’s lawmakers to “get real.”

Only 10% of Western Firms Have Left Russia – Austria (RT)

More than 90% of Western businesses that were present in Russia before the conflict with Ukraine broke out are still operating in the country, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Schallenberg also highlighted Russian companies are still active in Austria and Germany, while Vienna’s dependence on gas supplies from the sanctions-hit country remains high. “Exit from the Russian market is a far more complicated process than it is often described,” Schallenberg said. Austria’s reliance on Russian gas supplies has been reduced but still amounts to 50%, the minister said, stressing that the landlocked country cannot build LNG terminals, unlike some fellow EU member states.

“All in all, only 12% of Austria’s energy requirements are covered by Russian gas supplies,” the minister added. “We have created strategic gas reserves, and won’t face intermittent power outages during the upcoming winter.” Earlier this year, Schallenberg said Russia would remain important for the EU, urging the bloc’s lawmakers to “get real.” The minister defended the right of Raiffeisen Bank International, Austria’s second-largest lender, to continue operating in Russia, as it is one of only two foreign banks that is systemically important for the Russian economy, along with pan-European commercial bank UniCredit. “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” he stated in a March interview with Reuters.

Read more …

It all fell apart with the murder of Gaddafi.

African Coups Expose And Unravel A Web Of Western Meddling (Marsden)

French prosecutors have just charged former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who spearheaded Western support for the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, over alleged Libyan financing of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Time sure does fly! It seems like it was just yesterday that the Libyan leader was visiting Sarkozy at the Élysée in the wake of Sarkozy’s 2007 election victory, insisting on making himself comfortable in a traditional Bedouin tent on the lawn of the lavish state guest house. Sarkozy had made a trip to Tripoli himself just a few months earlier, barely weeks after taking office. His spokesman called France and Libya’s anti-terrorist cooperation a “longtime common combat.”

But suspicions about Sarkozy’s motives for leading the regime change charge arose in 2012, when Libyan intelligence officials implicated French agents in the capture and killing of Gaddafi in October 2011, alleging a cover-up related to Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Anonymous European officials also started singing the same tune to the Western press. When former US president Barack Obama took office in 2009, Paris insiders said that, given his focus on containing China, Obama delegated much of Africa to the French and Brits – who promptly screwed things up. And Obama was still talking about those screwups in 2016 when he told The Atlantic in an interview that he “had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” in the wake of the French- and UK-backed coup against Gaddafi.

Obama underscored, in the same interview, just how easy it was to “purchase France’s involvement in a way that made it less expensive for us and less risky for [America]” – just by allowing Sarkozy to take credit for the coup. The idea that France or a French president can be “purchased” seems relevant here. These events in Libya should also raise questions about the recent coup in Gabon and the role of France in creating the conditions that ultimately gave rise to it. As with Libya and Gaddafi, Sarkozy also seemed to have an odd fixation with Gabon, making three visits to the country between his election in mid-2007 and February 2010, including shortly after Ali Bongo took power in 2009, with 42% of the vote, in the wake of his father Omar’s death. Kind of weird for a French president whose predecessor, Jacques Chirac – who loved Africa so much he built the Musée du Quai d’Orsay in tribute to it – had lamented his lack of interest in the continent.

“The main interest of my trip is to reaffirm loyalty. I want to show that France is faithful,” Sarkozy said during one of those visits to Gabonese President Ali Bongo in 2010. In the wake of these new corruption charges, it seems that French “loyalty” in the case of Libya may have been tied directly to French presidential or special interests. And, by some accounts, that could also be the case with Gabon.

Read more …

“More than anyone, the CIA and Kiev had a score to settle and wanted Prigozhin dead… Projecting Russian influence into Africa is a crucial part of Putin’s foreign policy, and Wagner is the key to this success..”

Russia Inherits Prigozhin’s African Odyssey (Bhadrakumar)

Africa, especially west Africa, has a strong sense of collective identity. Trends in one country have a way of spreading across the continent. Therefore, It might or might not be a coincidence that the military takeover in Gabon on Wednesday came just a day after French President Emmanuel Macron took a tough stance vis-a-vis the generals in power in Niger. Macron not only scoffed at the generals’ demand seeking removal of the French envoy in Niamey and the French troops numbering 1500 personnel in that country but threatened to attack Niger. Apparently, Macron meant business. AFP had reported last week the stern warning by the spokesman for the French general staff, Colonel Pierre Gaudillière, that “French military forces are ready to respond to any resurgence of tension that would undermine French military and diplomatic bases in Niger” and that “measures have been taken to protect these bases”.

But the generals in Niamey hit back despatching a communication to the French foreign ministry that Macron’s envoy, Ambassador Sylvain Itté “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the diplomatic staff of the French Embassy”; his “diplomatic cards and visas” and those of his family members “are cancelled”; and, the Niger police “have been instructed to proceed with the expulsion” of Itté. It is a humiliating rebuff to Macron. He has no option now but to dial back his threat. A bloodbath in Niger to vent his anger at the deportation of his ambassador will be disastrous for France’s international standing. Besides, a “known unknown” factor also comes into play which will make Paris (and Washington) think twice — the ghost of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. This needs explaining.

Although no credible source has linked Russia to the coup in Niger, its strong connection with interventions in African countries — Central African Republic, Sudan, Mali and Libya — through the Wagner group leaves unanswered questions. This of course brings up the circumstances of the plane crash of Prigozhin in mysterious circumstances, which Russian investigators now estimate as an act of sabotage. There is no question that Prigozhin was an obstacle to the US/NATO plans in Africa. John Varoli, former foreign correspondent for New York Times, Bloomberg and Reuters TV (who was based in Moscow from 1992 to 2013 and was “trained as a US foreign policy expert with a focus on Russia and Ukraine”) wrote a riveting blog in Substack recently where he concluded on the following lines:

“More than anyone, the CIA and Kiev had a score to settle and wanted Prigozhin dead… Projecting Russian influence into Africa is a crucial part of Putin’s foreign policy, and Wagner is the key to this success. Relations with African leaders are built on Prigozhin’s personal charisma… Likewise, by eliminating Prigozhin and his top officers, NATO has dealt a blow to the Kremlin’s ambitions in Africa… Like with any high-profile assassination, we will never know the full truth. But one thing is for certain — the U.S., certain NATO members and Ukraine benefit the most from Prigozhin’s demise, while the Kremlin gains absolutely nothing. All available information points to Western involvement and guilt.”

Read more …

All roads lead to Africa.

History’s Starting to Rhyme – The Fight for Uranium (Jim Rickards)

Another conflict with escalatory potential involves the state of Niger, located in the Sahara desert. A recent military coup d’état overthrew the elected government several weeks ago (although the coup leaders contend the election was fraudulent). Some surveys show that the military junta enjoys broad popular support. Niger is France’s largest supplier of uranium, while France is one of the largest builders of nuclear power plants in the world. France desperately needs to restore order in Niger, including forcing the junta to step aside and reinstate the elected government. France has special forces including the French Foreign Legion ready to intervene. However, France does not want to proceed unilaterally, and is trying to recruit African allies to join the invasion.

The most significant regional grouping is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes both Francophone states like Senegal and Côte D’Ivoire and important Anglophone states such as Nigeria. France is recruiting ECOWAS to participate in its invasion of Niger. ECOWAS members are divided on the idea. In any case, ECOWAS action would require approval of the African Union and possibly the United Nations as well as weeks of mobilization. So no military action is likely for several months at the earliest. There’s no evidence that Russia was involved in the Niger coup, but Russia certainly stands as a major beneficiary. Russia is the other large manufacturer of nuclear power plants in addition to France. Russia gets its uranium from inside Russia, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian republics. (Russia also owns large amounts of U.S. uranium deposits obtained in a deal authorized by Hillary Clinton in exchange for huge donations to the Clinton Foundation).

If Russia can cut off France’s access to Nigérien uranium, it will tighten its hold on global uranium supplies and enhance its position as a provider of nuclear power plants. There is some talk now (not confirmed) that Russia may offer support to the Nigérien coup, including possible deployment of the Wagner Group mercenary army. That would greatly complicate any plans for French or ECOWAS involvement. Again, we would have the specter of Russia (via Wagner) and France (a NATO member) squaring off in a war for uranium in the Sahara desert. The escalatory potential is obvious. By the way, the bloodthirsty Victoria Nuland visited Niger recently and was not warmly received. She departed the country empty-handed. No doubt she left some threats of U.S. support for the French behind.

Read more …

“The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead..”

OK, what makes them suspicious? And isn’t there a law that says these MUST be reported -when they happen, not 16 years later?!

Also: what are the names on the transfers? We don’t get even one?

JPMorgan Flagged Over $1 Billion In Suspicious Epstein Transfers (ZH)

JPMorgan flagged over $1 billion in suspicious transactions linked to deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which the bank reported to the US government, the US Virgin Islands has claimed in its lawsuit against the bank. “JPMorgan was a full-service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” said Mimi Liu, an attorney for the USVI, which says the enormous sum bolsters key allegations in their legal action against the bank, which they say knowingly benefited from Epstein’s wrongdoing, Bloomberg reports, noting that this is the first time in the case that the ‘sheer volume of Epstein’s financial activity at JPMorgan over a 16-year period has been disclosed.’ The suspicious activity was detailed in a 2019 filing to the US Department of Treasury, a USVI attorney told a federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.

The filing was made after Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. Epstein had been with the bank from the late 1990s through 2013, when they finally cut ties with him. Epstein notoriously trafficked some of his victims to a private island in the USVI. JPMorgan denies that it let Epstein’s activities slide, and says it reported around 150 cash transactions to a federal regulator between 2002 and 2013. Last month, the USVI told the judge in the case that the bank facilitated over $1.1 million in payments from Jeffrey Epstein to “girls or women,” many of whom had Eastern European surnames. Over $320,000 of the payments were made to “numerous individuals for whom JPMorgan had no previously identified payments,” Singer wrote, accusing the bank of failing to disclose the payments until after the end of discovery – the period in which parties in a lawsuit exchange evidence.

The bank claims that’s irrelevant, because the USVI doesn’t have legal standing to claim JPMorgan obstructed a trafficking investigation because it wasn’t a victim. That said, Liu is urging the judge in the case to decide various claims in the USVI’s favor without a trial. “The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead,” she said. JPMorgan claims they had no idea what Epstein was up to – pointing to depositions from current and former employees who say they had no knowledge of the trafficking. “There is hotly disputed testimony and evidence,” said Feliia Ellsworth, an attorney for the bank.

Read more …

BRICS and human rights.

BRICS and the Future of Humanity (Solo)

In Egypt, there are over 60,000 political prisoners and arbitrary detentions. There is also torture, enforced disappearances, death sentences; the persecution of independent journalists and the repression of any dissent are the order of the day. In Iran, the protests following the murder of the young Masha Amini were brutally repressed, leading to several death sentences after show trials. Here too, arrests (often of journalists, accused of documenting protests and abuses), torture, and enforced disappearances, not to mention discrimination against women and the persecution of gays and lesbians are widespread. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where human rights are systematically violated, freedom of expression is attacked and women are discriminated against by law.

Here too there are unfair trials, arbitrary detentions and death sentences often imposed for simply participating in sit-ins and protests. With the bombings in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has also caused massacres of civilians and one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world. In the UAE, consensual same-sex relationships between adults are criminalized and political dissidents are subjected to abuse, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. Press freedom is hindered and limited by controls and bans. In India, democracy is degenerating into an increasingly totalitarian form and aims to transform a multilingual and multireligious country into a monolithic entity dominated by a fanatical Hindu party. Protests and dissent are repressed and religious and ethnic minorities persecuted.

As of 2022, the NGO Reporters Without Borders ranks China as one of the ten countries in the world with the least freedom of the press. In Russia, conscientious objectors and all those who refuse to participate in the war against Ukraine are persecuted, arrested and imprisoned. Brazil, Argentina and South Africa are the only BRICS members to have abolished the death penalty. China invaded Tibet in 1950 and annexed it in 1959, bloodily suppressing the revolt of the population; a situation that continues today. Russia has been carrying on an invasion war in Ukraine for over a year that has caused thousands of dead and wounded and terrible devastation, which is countered by an equally criminal warmongering policy by NATO, the European Union and the United States.

Currently, only Brazil and South Africa are among the 92 signatories and 68 states parties to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Among the remaining BRICS members India, Russia and China are nuclear powers with expanding arsenals.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Skull moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697615347153510622

 

 

Jump

 

 

Alpaca

 

 

Pelican

 

 

Sea slug
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697636709955936532

 

 

Dogfather

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 202023
 
 August 20, 2023  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


VIncent van Gogh Railway carriages 1888

 

West’s Attempt To Create A Ukraine Scenario In Niger Is Faltering (Bordachev)
How The US And France Created A Niger Mess For Themselves (Bhadrakumar)
Ukraine Conflict ‘Could Last For Decades’ – Medvedev (RT)
Milley: This Is An Existential Fight For Ukraine (Az.)
Russia Is A ‘Gas Pump With an Atomic Bomb’ – Borrell (RT)
Western Calls For Ukraine Peace Talks A ‘Tactical Ploy’ – Lavrov (RT)
West Has Shown Its ‘True Russophobic Face’ – Lavrov (RT)
Zakharova Says Kiev Elite Preying On US Taxpayers (TASS)
West’s Overall Aid To Kiev Over Past Year Exceeds $160 Bln – Lavrov (TASS)
Total Ukraine War Troop Deaths, Injuries Approaching 500,000: US Officials (ZH)
A Bumpy Ride (Jim Kunstler)
Trump Can Prove It (Matt Kane)
Joe Biden Juggled Aliases as He Peddled Power Via Hunter (Sp.)
Inside the Collapse of Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal (NY Times)
Central Asia is the Prime Battlefield in the New Great Game (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

Tom Renz modRNA

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Chef
https://twitter.com/i/status/1691902649484956065

 

 

 

 

“In the case of Ukraine, we are dealing with a regime that is pursuing a murderous policy towards the territory under its control. African leaders, on the other hand, are not at all willing to take risks for the interests of France and the United States.”

West’s Attempt To Create A Ukraine Scenario In Niger Is Faltering (Bordachev)

The development of the situation surrounding the possible invasion of Niger by the troops of certain countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is remarkably reminiscent of the discussions that took place on the eve of this summer’s Ukrainian “counter-offensive.” The West’s African states are in no hurry to embark on a risky adventure. Meanwhile, the US and its Western European allies are urging them to do so. Just as they have been pushing the Ukrainian military to attack fortified Russian positions throughout the spring of 2023. But there is a significant difference. In the case of Ukraine, we are dealing with a regime that is pursuing a murderous policy towards the territory under its control. African leaders, on the other hand, are not at all willing to take risks for the interests of France and the United States.

Therefore, what was a tragedy in Ukraine may turn out to be a farce in West Africa, with the end result being an amicable agreement between all parties concerned. In both cases, however, the main reason is the same: the West’s desire not to get directly involved in military adventures and to use others to achieve its goals. And if, in the case of Ukraine, the motive for such behavior is fear of retaliation from Russia, in Africa it is a lack of opportunity and desire. All the more so as France and the US are convinced that the ECOWAS political regimes close to them are themselves interested in overthrowing the military authorities in Niger. There are reasons for this. The coup in Niger on July 26 was the fourth in the region in less than two years (after Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea).

It clearly enjoys the support of a section of the population in one of the world’s poorest countries. In other ECOWAS countries, the situation is far from festive and the civilian authorities have every reason to fear a domino effect on themselves. There is reason to believe that the combined forces of Nigeria and several other countries in the community will be sufficient to bring the arrested President Bazoum back to power. The only thing lacking is adventurism: So far, African leaders have preferred to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, albeit with a show of determination. Paris and Washington, for their part, are acting in an easily recognizable manner: They are paying lip service to a peaceful solution, while in practice they are demanding that ECOWAS countries use force against the generals in Niger.

It cannot be ruled out that military support has also been promised, as there are still significant French and American contingents in the country. But direct Western intervention is unlikely. First, it would involve a certain amount of risk and the need to take responsibility for the consequences. And, secondly, a direct attack on a sitting government by Western forces would be extremely bad in terms of the battle for the hearts and minds of the developing world. In essence, the days when the US and its Western Europeans friends could attack any sovereign state on a whim are long gone. The last example was NATO’s aggression against Libya in 2011. Much has changed since then. The bloc is now trying to convince the world of its good intentions. This is especially true in the context of their struggle against Russia, which the West accuses of doing what it has been doing for two decades.

Read more …

Africa wants peace.

How The US And France Created A Niger Mess For Themselves (Bhadrakumar)

France has ceded the leadership in the emergent situation to Washington. As a political scientist and professor at the French Institute of Political Studies, Bertrand Badi, puts it, this “is a very significant humiliation in the African context and shows that he [Macron] made a mistake in his calculations.” Badi went on to make an interesting point that fundamentally, France has failed to “get rid of all its colonial history.”“The great drama of France is that it doesn’t know how to turn the page, in France’s inability to redefine itself… France, since independence by the African states, has pursued a schoolteacher diplomacy based on the temptation to give lessons and distribute punishments.” Badi concluded that France probably did not understand that African societies have changed since then.

Not only France, but Western powers on the whole do not understand that the African people have a highly politicized mindset, thanks to the violent, bitterly fought national liberation movements. Unsurprisingly, Africa has been quick to adapt to the space opening up for them in the multipolar setting to negotiate with the ex-colonial masters. The savviness with which the coup leaders in Niamey are acting takes the breath away. General Abdourahmane Tchiani, the titular head of the coup, refused to meet Nuland. She and other US officials asked to see Bazoum in person when they visited Niger on Monday, but the answer was no. Even with a hefty $200 million of annual US aid at stake, the Nigerien generals weren’t interested in Nuland’s offer.

Instead, she had to sit across the table and negotiate with the commander of Niger’s Special Operations Forces and one of the leaders of the coup, Brig. Gen. Moussa Salaou Barmou, who serves as chief of defense. Barmou attended the US National Defense University and was trained at Fort Benning in Georgia. Yet, he was handpicked to threaten Nuland that the deposed president would be executed if neighboring countries attempted a military intervention to restore his rule. US Senator Chris Murphy later wryly remarked: “It’s a disturbing trend, and a sign of how badly misallocated our national security spending is on the [African] continent.” The Intercept has since revealed that Barmou was not the only US-trained Nigerien general involved in the coup. “Two weeks after Niger’s coup, the State Department has still not provided a list of the US-connected mutineers, but a different US official confirmed that there are ‘five people we’ve identified as having received [US military] training,’” the investigative news outlet said.

Read more …

“We have no choice: either we will destroy their hostile political regime, or the collective West will eventually tear Russia to pieces”

Ukraine Conflict ‘Could Last For Decades’ – Medvedev (RT)

The hostilities between Russia and Ukraine may end up dragging on for years or even decades, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday. For Russia, it is an “existential” conflict and a fight for its very existence, Medvedev, who is currently deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, wrote in a Telegram post. Russia must destroy and fully dismantle the Ukrainian state that is “terrorist in its essence,” making sure “this filth” never re-emerges again, he stressed. “Should it take years or even decades, then so be it. We have no choice: either we will destroy their hostile political regime, or the collective West will eventually tear Russia to pieces. And in this case, it will perish with us. Nobody needs this,” Medvedev wrote, presumably hinting at all-out nuclear destruction.

“Therefore, the only way is a complete dismantling of the state machine of the hostile country and absolute guarantees of loyalty for the future. They can only be provided by Russia’s control over everything that is happening and will happen in the territories of the former Banderite state. And we will achieve that.” For the collective West, on the contrary, the ongoing hostilities are a “strange war” and their support for it cannot last forever, Medvedev suggested. With such an approach to the conflict, the West is bound to end up defeated, he added.

“For them, this is a strange war in which people who are strangers to them are dying. And while they do not feel sorry for them, the West will never go beyond the point when its own interests get hurt too much,” the ex-president said, adding that the Western support for Ukraine will eventually dry up, as “someone else’s war sooner or later becomes boring, costly and irrelevant.” Over the course of the conflict, the West has poured lavish military and economic aid into Ukraine, with numerous top officials repeatedly stating their desire to see Russia defeated on the battlefield. Moscow has consistently urged the West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with assorted weaponry, warning that doing so only prolongs the hostilities and inflicts more damage on common Ukrainians without changing the ultimate outcome.

Read more …

Parroting Putin.

Milley: This Is An Existential Fight For Ukraine (Az.)

It’s probably too early to comment on any future things or ongoing negotiations or any of that kind of stuff. I would just say that there are various ways to accomplish those objectives. And I would say right now. This counteroffensive hasn’t run its course yet. So, we have to see where this thing ends up and then move from there,” the United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, said, Report informs, citing the Washington Post.

Read more …

No matter how much Russians refer to their rich and ancient history, this pompous bag of gas can only look at insulting them – ever more. While he is presented as the EU’s top diplomat. Which would put him on the level of Lavrov, Patruchev, Zakharova. Or, you know, Blinken, Vicky Nuland ..Imagine that! Borrell is not a diplomat, he is merely a “gas bag masquerading as a diplomat.” And he speaks for us Europeans… Can you name any US diplomats on the level of Lavrov et al?

Russia Is A ‘Gas Pump With an Atomic Bomb’ – Borrell (RT)

The Russian economy is small compared to the other major geopolitical players, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in an interview with El Pais news outlet published on Saturday. Speaking about relations between the EU and China, Borrell said that Beijing, unlike Moscow, is a “real geopolitical player” which should not be underestimated or isolated. Russia, on the other hand, is too weak in economic terms due to its dependency on energy exports. “Russia is an economic dwarf, it is like a gas pump whose owner has an atomic bomb,” Borrell stated. Nevertheless, the diplomat claimed that Russia poses a threat to EU security, pointing to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which he said is practically “on the EU’s border.” This is not the first time Russia has been compared to a gas pump. In 2014, the late US Senator John McCain said Russia is “a gas station masquerading as a country,” saying the government is little more than an energy exporter.


The Russian government has acknowledged its dependency on oil and gas, but has worked to diversify its income sources and reduce the share of exports of natural resources in its budget. This summer, speaking at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country has been able to greatly reduce its dependency on energy revenue this year, noting that this is due to the robust development of the trade and service sectors. According to data from Russia’s Finance Ministry published in July, oil and gas income in the first half of 2023 amounted to 3.4 trillion rubles ($36.1 billion), half the amount that the budget gained from energy sales last year and a mere 27% of the total budget revenues. Meanwhile, non-oil and gas revenues surged by around 18% year-on-year, and amounted to roughly 9 trillion ($95.6 billion), or 73%, of the total budget income.

Read more …

“..their officially declared objective is to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia.”

Western Calls For Ukraine Peace Talks A ‘Tactical Ploy’ – Lavrov (RT)

The US and its allies do not want the Ukraine conflict to end and their purported peace initiatives are merely attempts to buy Kiev time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview published on Saturday. Geopolitical issues need to be discussed “not with [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters,” Lavrov said earlier this year. Negotiating directly with the Americans would make sense, he told the magazine International Affairs when asked about the idea. “The problem, however, is that the United States has no intention of ending the conflict,” Lavrov explained, noting that “their officially declared objective is to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia.”

Prospects for negotiations between Russia and the West “are non-existent at this stage,” Lavrov said, while Kiev “Western sponsors are constantly pushing them to up the ante.” Insisting on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s so-called ‘peace formula’ at meetings in Copenhagen and Jeddah – to which Russia was not invited – “hardly demonstrates an intention by the West to negotiate with Russia,” Lavrov said. Moscow has dismissed Zelensky’s ten-point list of demands as an unacceptable ultimatum unrelated to reality. Russia has repeatedly tried to negotiate, from the 2014 and 2015 Minsk agreements to the “drastic attempt to convey our concerns to Western capitals” in December 2021, Lavrov noted.

The West “arrogantly rejected” Moscow’s initiative and ramped up deliveries of weapons and ammunition to Kiev instead. “We regard the Westerners’ hypocritical calls for talks as a tactical ploy to buy time once again giving the exhausted Ukrainian troops a respite and the opportunity to regroup, and to send in more weapons and ammunition,” Lavrov said, adding that “this is the path of war, not a peaceful settlement process.” Angela Merkel, the former chancellor of Germany, admittedlast December that the 2015 Franco-German proposal in Minsk was “an attempt to give Ukraine time” to build up its military. This was then confirmed by former French President Francois Hollande.

Read more …

“..the West wants to do away with our country as a serious geopolitical rival..”

West Has Shown Its ‘True Russophobic Face’ – Lavrov (RT)

Washington and Brussels have openly unleashed a hybrid war against everything Russian, dropping their masks after decades of pretending to be civilized international partners, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with International Affairs, published on Saturday. “Many of our former partners have been concealing their Russophobic nature under the veil of hypocrisy, but have now shown their true face in all its glory,” he said. “However, there is also the flip side of the coin here, since the Global Majority saw the true face of those who went as far as [to] aspire to a monopoly in defining the so-called universal values.” “Today’s West is steered by people like Josep Borrell who divide the world into a blooming ‘garden’ and ‘the jungle,’ where the latter clearly applies to most of humanity,”Lavrov added.

The West has spent decades cynically transforming neighboring Ukraine into a “hostile military bulwark against Russia by nurturing an entire generation of politicians ready to declare war on our shared past, culture and everything Russian,” according to Lavrov. Western capitals even openly admitted that reaching a peaceful settlement in Ukraine was never part of their plan, and that the Minsk agreements were originally designed to “buy some time to prepare a military scenario and deliver weapons to Kiev.” “I think that the essential thing we must understand in this regard is that the West wants to do away with our country as a serious geopolitical rival,” the top Russian diplomat said.

They have not hesitated to use subversive methods and perform acts of sabotage, as was the case with the explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea. Lavrov also accused Washington and its allies of using all possible coercive means to prevent Russia’s partners from engaging in economic and other kinds of cooperation, while also “making outrageous efforts to disconnect Russia from international cooperation mechanisms in culture, education, research, and sports.” One thing that the West fails to understand, according to Lavrov, is that “Russia will use all means to defend its people and its vital interests,” and thus would be better for the opponents to realize that “confrontation with Russia is futile and switch to more civilized” means for achieving a balance of interests.

Read more …

“..spending on Ukraine aid stood at $130 billion, while 15 million Americans did not have medical insurance and 30 million people in the US lacked food stamps..”

Zakharova Says Kiev Elite Preying On US Taxpayers (TASS)

The Ukrainian authorities are preying not only on their own people but also on US taxpayers, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement. “The Kiev elite is preying not only on its fellow citizens but also on American taxpayers. Not so long ago, US presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pointed out in an interview that Washington’s spending on Ukraine aid stood at $130 billion, while 15 million Americans did not have medical insurance and 30 million people in the US lacked food stamps,” she noted. Still, in the Russian diplomat’s words, on August 14, the Pentagon announced another aid package to Kiev worth $200 mln. “It will particularly include ammunition for Patriot missile systems and HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, as well as anti-tank missile systems. Washington’s military aid to Ukraine has exceeded $43.7 billion since Joe Biden took office as US president,” Zakharova emphasized. “Besides, on August 10, the White House asked the US Congress to approve another $24 billion in aid for Ukraine, including $13.1 billion worth of military assistance,” she added.

Read more …

To achieve what?

West’s Overall Aid To Kiev Over Past Year Exceeds $160 Bln – Lavrov (TASS)

The West’s overall assistance to the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky regime over the year of the special military operation exceeded 160 billion US dollars, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine. “In terms of money, the West’s aggregate assistance to the Zelensky regime over the year of the special military operation exceeded 160 billion US dollar, including military aid of 75 billion US dollars,” he said. “By the way, according to the estimates of the Washington-based The Heritage Foundation NGO, the United States has already allocated around 113 billion US dollars to Ukraine, or some 900 dollars from each household, plus 300 dollars as interests for servicing corresponding debt obligations. Huge sums, especially amid the difficult situation in the global economy.”

According to the top Russian diplomat, round 50 countries of the so-called “Ramstein coalition” for military support for Ukraine “are actually involved in the armed conflict on the part of the Kiev regime, which does not hesitate to use terrorist fighting methods.” “Large-scale weapons supplies, including cluster and long-range munitions, are being sent to Ukraine,” he said. “NATO instructors take part in planning operations of the Ukrainian army, NATO intelligence data are being used.” Meanwhile, Western leaders keep on repeating like aa mantra that they will continue to help Kiev as long as it takes, Lavrov noted. “Of course, this is their choice and the Zelensky junta’s decision to go on fighting until the last Ukrainian,” he went on.

“But, historically, the United States cannot boast a good reputation in terms of supporting its allies.” In this context, he recalled that the termination of the US military assistance to South Vietnam in 1973 and to the Ashraf Ghani regime in Afghanistan in 2021 ended up in the immediate fall of the authorities loyal to Washington. “And present-day Ukraine practically totally depends on Western money and weapons supplies,” he stressed. Lavrov noted that the west “is seeking to eliminate Russia as a serious geopolitical rival.” “This is why Washington and Brussels have unleashed a hybrid war against us,” he said. “And it is supplemented by the unprecedented sanction pressure.

The Americans are using the carrot-and-stick policy in a bid to make our partners to refuse from economic and other cooperation with Russia.” They don’t’ hesitate to resort to blatant sabotage, like in the case with the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines running across the Baltic Sea, or taking efforts to remove Russia from the mechanisms of international cooperation in the areas of culture, education, science, and sports. “Evidently, these and other aggressive measures are geared to weaken, exhaust Russia,” Lavrov noted. “They are seeking to maximally drain out our economic, technological, and defense capacities, to limit our sovereignty and make us drop our independent foreign and domestic policy.”.

Read more …

Pretty sure we’re better off following Macgregor’s numbers.

Total Ukraine War Troop Deaths, Injuries Approaching 500,000: US Officials (ZH)

A surprisingly blunt and revealing Friday report in The New York Times cites US officials who estimate that total war casualties in Ukraine among both sides are at nearly 500,000 dead and wounded. “The number includes as many as 120,000 deaths and 170,000 to 180,000 injured troops,” the Times wrote based on the unnamed officials. “The Russian numbers dwarf the Ukrainian figures, which the officials put at close to 70,000 killed and 100,000 to 120,000 wounded.” To put these grim and tragic figures in perspective, the United States military involvement in Vietnam over the course of a nearly two-decade period resulted in about 58,000 Americans killed. Given Kiev doesn’t release official casualty numbers, the US officials cited in the Times report are estimating, but it generally lines up with the immense numbers of Ukrainian losses the Kremlin has presented in evaluating the counteroffensive.

But Western sources have consistently said that Russian losses are more staggering. The NY Times has characterized the now largely stalemated conflict as a war of attrition, with Russia having the manpower and supply lines keep the upper-hand and to far outlast: “Ukraine has around 500,000 troops, including active-duty, reserve and paramilitary troops, according to analysts. By contrast, Russia has almost triple that number, with 1,330,000 active-duty, reserve and paramilitary troops — most of the latter from the Wagner Group”. As for Russia, the West has accused it of habitually undercounting its own casualty rates. Last January, US Chief of the Joint Staff Mark Milley asserted that Russian forces had suffered losses at “significantly well over 100,000”.

Likely many of the recent casualties on each side were from the months-long battle for the city of Bakhmut. President Zelensky has come under recent criticism for pouring so many resources and manpower into what was a losing battle. That’s when many reports emerged of large amounts of completely untrained and underequipped Ukrainians being shipped to the frontlines. The military analysis source 19fortyfive.com has assessed that the defense of Bakhmut was an incredible risk and gamble which didn’t pay off, and led to a very poor start to the now faltering counteroffensive: “However, Zelensky chose to press the fight anyway. For months, senior U.S. leaders warned the Ukrainian president the battle was unwinnable and to move to other defensive positions.

Not only did he refuse to withdraw to a superior fighting position, he ordered his men not to give up so much as a single building, forcing them to fight to the death. Month after month, Zelensky sent brigade after brigade to reinforce Bakhmut in an effort to reverse the tide. Not only was it painfully obvious that military fundamentals made clear there was little rational hope of stopping Wagner’s drive to capture Bakhmut, but many of those brigades Zelensky sent in futile aid to help Bakhmut were also urgently needed in the upcoming spring and summer offensive. Two days after Bakhmut’s fall, Zelensky was still defiant, claiming the city had not fallen. In 2022, Zelensky’s tenacity and unwillingness to compromise resulted in blunting Russia’s invasion and then inflicting two major operational defeats.”

While Ukrainian forces held out for longer than most predicted, it was a very costly loss, and at the same time it’s anything but clear that it put a significant dent in Russian force strength. 19FortyFive concludes that it’s certainly not Washington’s fault (despite the persistent complaint to this end of Zelensky officials)… “No one can claim the United States didn’t give Ukraine every chance to find out if it could succeed on the battlefield, as we provided literally thousands of armored vehicles, millions of shells, missiles, and bombs, and training and intelligence support – along with scores of billions in other aid.” And the publication emphasizes, “But that help did not produce a Ukrainian victory.”

Read more …

“All that cackling must conceal an inner vacancy so vast that Judge Crater, DB Cooper, and the brigantine Mary Celeste might be roaming around in there, along with Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Lost Colony of Roanoke.”

A Bumpy Ride (Jim Kunstler)

The reams of Biden family bank records that Mr. Comer of Kentucky has unearthed hither and yon, plus deal memoranda, video and audio recordings of dark confabs, and hundreds of tell-tale emails are of a different evidentiary nature than the roster of hypothetical thought crimes confabulated by Jack Smith, Alvin Bragg, and Fani T. Willis. Personally, I would like, at least, to see impeachment hearings where all that hard evidence of Biden family bribery is methodically laid out for The New York Times and CNN to ignore. It will look like a game of chicken for a few days, but then the party honchos will “sadly” order Ol’ Joe to step aside before that grim spectacle goes too far. The Ukraine War will then be Kamala Harris’s to lose — depend on it — though nobody will care.

I have a feeling that Barack Obama will not be able to… how shall we say… work with her. All that cackling must conceal an inner vacancy so vast that Judge Crater, DB Cooper, and the brigantine Mary Celeste might be roaming around in there, along with Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Lost Colony of Roanoke. And I cringe to imagine the meetings with Kamala where Susan Rice, Lisa Monaco, and Torie Nuland try to tell the poor simp what to do. It will look like one of those girlie beat-downs on an Oakland street-corner. Anyway, by that time the stock markets will be all a’crumble, all those Vanguard retirement funds will wash-up like so many writhing grunions on Cabrillo Beach, and your local bank will cap withdrawals at $500 a few weeks before executing the long-rumored bail-ins.

At that magic moment, the Democratic Party will have everything it has wished for. Of course, I can’t say the melodrama will play out exactly like that, in that sequence. But expect trouble in September. Expect disorder like you’ve never imagined. Think about retrieving whatever cash you have in the bank. Consider arming yourself for safety’s sake, if you live in a part of the country that allows it. Or maybe even if you live in the other parts. Lay in some beans and rice and some batteries. Buckle your mental seat belt. When August is over, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Read more …

“The 2020 election reportedly saw 155 million votes. There were roughly 168 million registered voters in 2020, which means that voter turnout in 2020 was an astonishing 92%.”

Trump Can Prove It (Matt Kane)

There were concerns regarding Pennsylvania’s voting procedure long before any votes were even cast. The Keystone State’s Senate Republican Caucus and the Republican Party strongly argued that the state Supreme Court extending the deadline to count ballots violated the U.S. Constitution’s Elections Clause by taking away the Legislature’s authority to “set the times, places and manner of federal elections.” This was ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court just prior to Justice Barrett’s confirmation. This led to a 4-4 decision, which results in a “stay.” Had this been heard after her confirmation, it is likely Barrett would have ruled against the extensions that led to Biden’s constitutionally questionable “comeback.”

But of all the suspected fraud in 2020, Arizona was the first state that raised suspicions in real time. Despite not voting Democrat in a two-candidate presidential election since 1948, Fox News shockingly called the state for Biden after just 27% of the vote was reported. This sparked a forensic audit that concluded that the number of illegal votes exceeded Biden’s alleged 11-thousand-vote victory fivefold. When vote-counting was inexplicably halted on Election Night, Trump led all these states by six figures. A combination of any three of these states holding would have secured him a second term, which is why Democrats fought so hard to steal them. But even putting state-specific statistics aside, a basic analysis of election history signals the improbability of Biden receiving the number of votes he allegedly did.

Every general election since 2004 has seen between 120–130 million total votes. The 2020 election reportedly saw 155 million votes. There were roughly 168 million registered voters in 2020, which means that voter turnout in 2020 was an astonishing 92%. This is statistically improbable when you consider that countries such as Australia institute compulsory voting, which mandates that citizens vote or pay a fine. Yet its most recent turnout rate was in the high 80s. America voluntarily outpacing a nation that financially penalizes non-voters does not pass the smell test.

Read more …

“The pseudonyms were supposedly used to dodge discovery of the communications under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”

Joe Biden Juggled Aliases as He Peddled Power Via Hunter (Sp.)

President Joe Biden armed himself with several fake identities during his time as Barack Obama’s vice president when communicating with son Hunter, as well as the latter’s foreign business partners, emails from the notorious “laptop from hell” reveal, reported US media. Hunter Biden had abandoned this device in a Delaware repair shop in 2019. At least three pseudonyms: ‘Robert L. Peters’, ‘Robin Ware’ and ‘JRB Ware’, along with alternate email addresses were used by Joe Biden between 2014 and 2016, when sending messages to his son. Some concerned family issues, other communications pertained to official government business, such as upcoming talks with then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, or Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. The pseudonyms were supposedly used to dodge discovery of the communications under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Thus, the private email address using the name Robert.L.Peters was where Joe Biden’s aide, John Flynn, was ostensibly instructed to send his daily schedule at least on 10 occasions in the period between May 18 and June 15. Regarding the above-cited call with the then-Ukrainian President, Hunter Biden’s name was copied onto a message dated May 26. It contained a note keeping the younger Biden in the loop about an “8.45am prep for 9am phonecall [sic] with Pres Poroshenko.” Hunter Biden had also been alerted to a meeting on his father’s schedule with Prime Minister Groysman on June 15, 2016. Subsequently the face-to-face led to an announcement of “$220 million in new assistance to Ukraine,” per records.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has sent a letter to the National Archives requesting any “document or communication in which a pseudonym for Vice President Joe Biden was included either as a sender, recipient, copied or was included in the contents of the document or communication, including but not limited to Robert Peters, Robin Ware, and JRB Ware.” Specifically, Comer hoped to get a look at emails released by the National Archives that are marked as “Email Messages To and/or From Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden related to Burisma and Ukraine.”

“Joe Biden has stated there was ‘an absolute wall’ between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as vice president, but evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling. We already have evidence of then-Vice President Biden speaking, dining and having coffee with his son’s foreign business associates. We also know that Hunter Biden and his associates were informed of then-Vice President Biden’s official government duties in countries where they had a financial interest. The National Archives must provide these unredacted records to further our investigation into the Biden family’s corruption,” stated James Comer.

Read more …

I normally never use paywalled articles like the NYT’s. But this is free for me. Hoping it is for you, too. It’s interesting. Q: Why does the NYT run a lengthy aricle on this, at this time?

Inside the Collapse of Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal (NY Times)

There were signs, subtle but unmistakable, that Hunter Biden’s high-stakes plea agreement with federal prosecutors might be on shaky ground hours before it went public in June, according to emails sent by his legal team to the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware. When one of Mr. Biden’s lawyers sent over the draft of the statement they intended to share with the news media, a top deputy to David C. Weiss, who had overseen the inquiry since 2018, asked to remove two words describing the status of the investigation, according to interviews and internal correspondence on the deal obtained by The New York Times. “Concluded” and “conclusion” should be replaced with the weaker “resolved,” the deputy said.

Six weeks later, the federal judge presiding over a hearing on the agreement would expose even deeper divisions and the deal imploded, prompting Mr. Weiss to seek appointment as special counsel with the freedom to expand the inquiry and bring new charges. The deal’s collapse — chronicled in over 200 pages of confidential correspondence between Mr. Weiss’s office and Mr. Biden’s legal team, and interviews with those close to Mr. Biden, lawyers involved in the case and Justice Department officials — came after intense negotiations that started with the prospect that Mr. Biden would not be charged at all and now could end in his possible indictment and trial. Earlier this year, The Times found, Mr. Weiss appeared willing to forgo any prosecution of Mr. Biden at all, and his office came close to agreeing to end the investigation without requiring a guilty plea on any charges.

But the correspondence reveals that his position, relayed through his staff, changed in the spring, around the time a pair of I.R.S. officials on the case accused the Justice Department of hamstringing the investigation. Mr. Weiss suddenly demanded that Mr. Biden plead guilty to committing tax offenses. Now, the I.R.S. agents and their Republican allies say they believe the evidence they brought forward, at the precise time they did, played a role in influencing the outcome, a claim senior law enforcement officials dispute. While Mr. Biden’s legal team agrees that the I.R.S. agents affected the deal, his lawyers have contended to the Justice Department that by disclosing details about the investigation to Congress, they broke the law and should be prosecuted. “It appears that if it weren’t for the courageous actions of these whistle-blowers, who had nothing to gain and everything to lose, Hunter Biden would never have been charged at all,” a team of lawyers for one of the I.R.S. agents said in a statement, adding that the initial agreement reflected preferential treatment.

[..] Precisely what happens next is unclear. Mr. Biden’s top lawyer has quit, and accused prosecutors of reneging on their commitments. And Republicans, who waged an all-out war to discredit the deal, are seeking to maximize the political damage to President Biden, seeing it as a counter to the four criminal prosecutions of Mr. Trump, their party’s presidential front-runner. Mr. Weiss had a few reasons to ask Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to appoint him special counsel. The status could grant him greater authority to pursue leads around the country, and could provide him with added leverage in a revamped deal with Mr. Biden. But he was also motivated by a requirement to produce a report that would allow him to answer critics, according to people with knowledge of the situation — an accounting that could become public before the 2024 election.

Read more …

New Silk Roads.

Central Asia is the Prime Battlefield in the New Great Game (Pepe Escobar)

There’s hardly a more relevant place across the Heartland to observe the current power play than Samarkand, the fabled “Rome of the East.” Here we are in the heart of ancient Sogdiana – the historical trade crossroads between China, India, Parthia, and Persia, an immensely important node of East-West cultural trends, Zoroastrianism, and pre/post-Islamic vectors. From the 4th century to the 8th century, it was the Sogdians who monopolized the caravan trade between East Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia, transporting silk, cotton, gold, silver, copper, weaponry, aromas, furs, carpets, clothes, ceramics, glass, porcelain, ornaments, semi-precious stones, mirrors. Wily Sogdian merchants used protection from nomadic dynasties to solidify trade between China and Byzantium.

The meritocratic Chinese elite, which reasons in terms of very long historical cycles, is very much aware of all of the above: that’s a key driver behind the New Silk Roads concept, officially known as BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), as announced nearly 10 years ago by President Xi Jinping in Astana, Kazakhstan. Beijing plans to reconnect with its Western neighbors as the necessary pathway towards increased pan-Eurasian trade and connectivity. Beijing and Moscow have complementary focuses when it comes to relations with the Heartland – always under the principle of strategic cooperation. Both have been engaged in regional security and economic cooperation with Central Asia since 1998.

Established in 2001, the SCO is an actual product of the Russia-China common strategy as well as a platform for non-stop dialogue with the Heartland. How different Central Asian “stans” react to it is a multi-level issue. Tajikistan, for instance, economically fragile and heavily dependent on the Russian market as a provider of cheap labor, officially keeps an “open door” policy to every sort of cooperation, including with the west. Kazakhstan and the US have established a Strategic Partnership Council (their last meeting was late last year). Uzbekistan and the US have a “strategic partnership dialogue,” set up in late 2021. American business presence is very much visible in Tashkent, via an imposing trade center, not to mention Coke and Pepsi in every Uzbek village corner shop.

The EU tries to keep up, especially in Kazakhstan, where over 30 percent of foreign trade ($39 billion) and investments ($12.5 billion) come from Europe. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev – extremely popular for opening up the country five years ago – nabbed $9 billion in trade deals when he visited Germany three months ago. Since the inception of the Chinese BRI a decade ago, the EU, by comparison, invested around $120 billion across the Heartland: not too shabby (40 percent of total foreign investment), but still below Chinese commitments.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1692843202816905677

 

 

Apeel

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 112023
 
 August 11, 2023  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Self portrait with pipe 1886

 

Biden Gone Crazy – Trump (RT)
Trump Says He Never Doubted 2020 Election Was ‘Rigged’ (ET)
US Prosecutors Propose Trump Trial Date (RT)
Trump Enters Plea In New Classified Documents Charges (RT)
Niger Coup Shows Wind Of Change Blowing In Francophone Africa – Expert (RT)
US Hints At Support For Niger Intervention (RT)
Most Of The World Has Decided To Keep Out Of Ukraine Conflict (Lukyanov)
Russian Economy Overtakes Germany, UK and France Despite Sanctions (Tweedie)
EU Sanctions On Russia Could Grind German Industry To A Halt – MP (RT)
Russia Takes ‘Partial Victory’ In Economic Confrontation With West (TASS)
Zelensky Will Never Negotiate With Putin – Ukrainian FM (RT)
Peaceful Settlement Possible If Kiev Stops Hostilities, Terrorism (TASS)
Biden Asks Congress for $13 Billion in New Ukraine Military Aid as Opposition Grows
Washington is Attempting to Dismiss $20 Million as an Illusion (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Biden tapes

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Khan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1689406860527378432

 

 

Shoigu

 

 

 

 

Wrong

 

 

 

 

Trump’s defense is his attack. It’s the only game he knows.

Biden Gone Crazy – Trump (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump slammed his successor Joe Biden as simultaneously insane and inept in a rant on his Truth Social platform on Thursday, declaring the Democratic politician’s policies had nearly destroyed the country. “What Crooked Joe Biden, who can’t string two sentences together, has done to our once great Country through his Open Borders CATASTROPHE, may go down as the greatest and most damaging mistake ever made in USA HISTORY,” the Republican presidential hopeful wrote, insisting the “INVASION” of the US “MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY.” “Our country is being destroyed by a man with the mind, ideas, and IQ of a First Grader,” Trump continued in all caps.

A second volley of insults followed. Biden was “not only dumb and incompetent … he has gone MAD, a stark raving Lunatic,” the ex-president suggested, citing his rival’s “horrible and Country-threatening environmental, open borders & DOJ/FBI weaponization policies.” Biden has presided over an unprecedented flood of migration into the US since reversing many of Trump’s signature immigration policies, with over 7 million illegal aliens arriving since his inauguration in 2021, according to the Federation of American Immigration Reform. Trump pleaded not guilty on Thursday to the latest round of indictments spawned by special prosecutor Jack Smith’s office relating to alleged improper handling of classified material, on top of the dozens of felony charges he was already facing.

He has accused Biden and his Justice Department of spearheading a “witch hunt” against him motivated by personal resentment and a desire to scuttle his chances in the 2024 election. Earlier this week, Trump told an audience in Alabama that he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the “Biden crime family” on his first day in office if he regains the White House. Despite the legal quagmire in which Trump is engulfed, he and Biden would face a close race if a rematch of the 2020 vote were held today, with a New York Times/Siena College poll released last week finding 43% of respondents supported each candidate. Both continue to far outstrip their rivals in their respective primary polls, even as voters rated both their unfavorables significantly higher than their favorables in an Economist-YouGov poll earlier this week.

While Trump’s indictments have seemingly galvanized his supporters, Biden’s approval rating continues to languish at record lows, an IBD/TIPP poll published this week found. Just 38% of Americans said they approved of the incumbent’s performance, and even among his own party his support lagged at 65%, with respondents citing concerns about inflation, sluggish or nonexistent wage growth, and surging gas prices to explain their rating. A poll conducted in May found nearly two thirds of respondents thought Biden was not mentally fit to serve a second term.

Read more …

“I will talk about it. I will. They’re not taking away my First Amendment right.” “I’ll be the only politician in American history not allowed to speak because of our corrupt system..”

“I’m sorry, I won’t be able to go to Iowa today; I won’t be able to go to New Hampshire today because I’m sitting in a courtroom on bull-[expletive] because his attorney general charged me with something.”

Trump Says He Never Doubted 2020 Election Was ‘Rigged’ (ET)

Former President Donald Trump has declared that he absolutely believes that the 2020 election was stolen—a denial of the central allegation in his most recent federal indictment. President Trump has pleaded not guilty to Washington-based charges in what he and his supporters are calling a politically motivated prosecution amid a presidential election campaign. The Aug. 1 indictment alleges that President Trump conspired to defraud and obstruct the U.S. electoral process by spreading “knowingly false claims” of election fraud, thus eroding trust in the government. On Aug. 8, President Trump said, “I never even thought of this one: ‘Trump didn’t really believe he won the election.’” He emphatically told the audience of 2,000 at the high school in Windham, New Hampshire, “Let me tell you … there was never a second of any day that I didn’t believe that that election was rigged.”

The former president raised his voice and said: “It was a rigged election, and it was a stolen, disgusting election. And this country should be ashamed … they go after the people that want to prove that it was rigged and stolen! … They don’t go after the people that rigged it.” President Trump also decried federal prosecutors’ recent request to restrict what he can say publicly as the case proceeds. A judge has set a hearing for Aug. 11. Federal prosecutors fear that the former president, who has been outspoken on the campaign trail and social media, could release information that might have “a chilling effect” on witnesses and interfere with justice being done. Therefore, they say a protective order is needed. The former president’s lawyer, John Lauro, wrote in a court filing: “In a trial about First Amendment rights, the government seeks to restrict First Amendment rights.”

And President Trump told the audience on Aug. 8: “I will talk about it. I will. They’re not taking away my First Amendment right.” “I’ll be the only politician in American history not allowed to speak because of our corrupt system,” he said. “I’ll come in, and I’ll say: ‘Hi everybody. Listen, uh, not allowed to speak, uh, please vote for me, New Hampshire, if you would. Bye!’” The former president said the political implications are serious and the situation is outrageous. President Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to run against the Democrats’ nominee, presumably President Joe Biden. While President Biden denies unduly influencing federal prosecutors to take action against President Trump, Mr. Lauro said the Democrat president promised that his administration would ensure that President Trump “does not become the next president again.”

President Trump said, “How can my corrupt political opponent, ‘Crooked Joe Biden,’ put me on trial during an election campaign that I’m winning by a lot, forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trail in order to fight bogus, made-up accusations and charges?” President Trump said that because he is now indicted in three cases, he envisions having to say: “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to go to Iowa today; I won’t be able to go to New Hampshire today because I’m sitting in a courtroom on bull-[expletive] because his attorney general charged me with something.”

Read more …

Jan 2. His entire campaign will have to come from a courtroom. Or a prison cell. That can’t be right.

US Prosecutors Propose Trump Trial Date (RT)

US Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office has asked a Washington, DC court to begin the criminal trial of former president Donald Trump on January 2. Smith maintains that this will give Trump’s legal team enough time to prepare, while Trump insists that Smith is “deranged” and “trying to infringe”on his campaign. In a three-page filing submitted on Thursday, Smith’s office requested that jury selection begin on December 11, followed by the trial three weeks later. This proposed schedule “serves the public’s interest and the interests of justice, while also protecting the defendant’s rights and ability to prepare for trial,” the filing read. In the filing, Smith’s team estimated that it would take them between four and six weeks to present their case against the former president.

If the court agrees to Smith’s dates, this process would see the trial overlap with the Iowa caucuses, during which Republicans in the state will choose their preferred candidate for president in the 2024 election. Trump has previously denounced Smith as “deranged” and claimed that the case is an attempt by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department to take out the incumbent president’s most formidable political rival. “My Political Opponent is going CRAZY trying to infringe on my Campaign for President,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform earlier on Thursday. “These are DARK DAYS IN AMERICA!” Smith charged Trump earlier this month with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

The charges stem from Trump’s alleged efforts to stop the certification of Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, which culminated in the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, in which one of Trump’s supporters was shot dead by a police officer. Trump pleaded not guilty to all four charges last week, and told his supporters that, if elected, he would have Biden investigated for his alleged “crooked acts, including bribes from China and many other foreign countries that go into the coffers of the Biden crime family.” Smith also indicted Trump in June for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, hitting the former president with 32 counts under the Espionage Act, one for each document he supposedly removed from the White House. Trump has pleaded not guilty, and in a speech to supporters shortly after the indictment, called the Justice Department and FBI – who raided his Florida estate to find the documents – “cowards,” “fascists,” and “thugs.”

Read more …

There are too many charges and indictments.

Trump Enters Plea In New Classified Documents Charges (RT)

Former US president Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a second round of charges added last month to the 37 felony counts the Republican presidential frontrunner already faces for allegedly mishandling classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump, Nauta, and fellow Trump employee Carlos de Oliveira were charged with obstructing the federal government’s efforts to retrieve the documents by conspiring to delete security camera footage from the system monitoring his Palm Beach home after the government issued a subpoena for it. De Oliveira is expected to enter a plea next week once he secures a Florida lawyer.

Trump also pleaded not guilty to another violation of the Espionage Act, stemming from him allegedly showing a classified national security document containing the Pentagon’s plan for attacking Iran to visitors at his Bedminster, New Jersey country club. Audio of the former president seemingly showing off the “highly confidential” military secrets was released in June following the initial classified documents indictment, appearing to contradict Trump’s previous insistence that he was only referring to publicly-available information at the club and did not have the battle plan in his possession at the time. With the filing of the initial charges in the classified documents case in June, Trump became the first former US president ever to be federally indicted. He was indicted again last week on four counts of conspiracy related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The former reality star is also facing charges in a Manhattan district court related to his alleged payment of hush money to a porn star in 2016.

Another indictment is reportedly pending against the real estate mogul-turned-politician, this time in the state of Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been working to indict Trump for election interference based on a phone call he made to the Georgia Secretary of State during the weeks after Election Day 2020 and an unexecuted plan to draw up an alternate slate of electors for the state. A grand jury is expected to consider any potential charges by the end of next week. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges thus far, dismissing them as part of a “witch hunt” against him by a “tyrannical” Democratic Party that wants to lock him up for “six lifetimes.” The indictments have not hurt his performance in polling for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, though he remains neck-to-neck with incumbent Joe Biden in recent hypothetical matchups.

Read more …

With Nord Stream gone, Europe depends on a pipeline that flows through Niger. Good video.

Niger Coup Shows Wind Of Change Blowing In Francophone Africa – Expert (RT)

The political situation in Niger should teach France and other Western countries, including the US and UK, that Africa cannot be taken for granted, a former Nigerien foreign affairs officer, Iliyasu Gadu, told RT on Thursday. According to Gadu, a wind of change leading to a decline in western hegemony is “blowing across French-speaking Africa and West Africa” and must be accepted by Paris and other former colonizers. Last month, Niger’s presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum and seized power, prompting anti-French protests from thousands of people who supported the move.

The new military government accused France on Wednesday of violating its airspace and releasing dangerous terrorists. The coup leaders previously accused the former colonial power of plotting a strike to free Bazoum. Paris has denied the allegations, claiming that it flew a plane into the capital Niamey in accordance with an agreement with the Nigerien army. The coup in Niger on July 26 has triggered aid cuts from partnering countries, including France, Germany, and the US. Despite being sanctioned by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which is considering military intervention, the new authorities have rejected both regional and international pressure to release Bazoum and restore democratic order.

In an interview with RT, Gadu said he believes ECOWAS is acting at French behest by threatening to intervene militarily in Niger. He argued that while France has oil and mineral concessions in its former colonies that benefit it at the expense of the local people, it “cannot go in and intervene or force change.” “So at the moment, they want ECOWAS to do that,” he said, adding that “force and intervention will not help” to resolve the unrest in Niger. Gadu said he views the willingness of neighboring states to get involved in the Sahel country as being “not in the interest” of ECOWAS, but in the interest of Paris.

Niger EU

Read more …

China has invested a lot in Afica. What are they thinking?

US Hints At Support For Niger Intervention (RT)

The United States has said it backs efforts to restore Niger’s “constitutional order” in the wake of a military uprising there last month, after countries in the region said they would activate troops for a possible armed intervention. In a statement published on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington stands with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in calling on Niger’s military government to step down, stressing the need for political stability and “social cohesion.”“We echo the ECOWAS condemnation of the illegal detention of President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and members of the government, as well as the unacceptable conditions under which they are being held, and call for their immediate release,” the diplomat added, referring to Niger’s deposed head of state.

While Blinken added that US officials hoped ECOWAS would “explore all options for the peaceful resolution of the crisis,” his comments came just hours after the West African bloc said it would begin organizing military forces to restore Bazoum to power. The leader was overthrown last month by rebel military commanders, who have since placed him in detention and seized control of Niger’s government. “No option is taken off the table, including the use of force as a last resort,” Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said earlier on Thursday, after hosting an ECOWAS meeting in Abuja. He added, “I hope that through our collective effort, we can bring about a peaceful resolution as a roadmap to restoring stability and democracy in Niger. All is not lost yet.” Several of Niger’s neighbors have demanded the restoration of the former government, with Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara condemning Bazoum’s detention as a “terrorist act.”

Officials in Nigeria and Senegal have echoed those comments. Niamey’s new military government has defied ECOWAS demands to free the ousted president and step down, vowing to defend the country against any foreign attack. Some African states, including Mali and Burkina Faso, have aligned with the Niger junta, warning they would withdraw from the bloc and “adopt self-defense measures in support of the armed forces and the people of Niger” in the event of an intervention. While it’s unclear when ECOWAS might be prepared to launch a military operation or what countries would participate, Western officials told the Associated Press that the leaders of Niger’s junta threatened to kill Bazoum should the bloc send troops, potentially raising the stakes for any attempt to use force.

Read more …

“The majority of the world accepts Russia’s arguments about the causes of the conflict, but is not enthusiastic about the ongoing military campaign.”

Most Of The World Has Decided To Keep Out Of Ukraine Conflict (Lukyanov)

The recent Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg and the consultations in Saudi Arabia last weekend on ending the Ukraine conflict, while different events, form part of a single phenomenon. Their significance lies in the growing importance on the international stage of states that prefer not to take sides in the confrontation between Russia and the West, but are guided by pragmatic interests. We now refer to this large group of countries as the world majority. It indeed comprises most of Earth’s population, but the name can be misleading. It’s not some form of united bloc. However, we can talk about a new structural factor – the emergence of constraints on the great powers, which are used to thinking that everything depends on them. Now, it’s not possible to achieve goals without the support of – and even more so in spite of – countries that were previously regarded as afterthoughts.

The essence of the majority’s approach is the desire to distance itself from the political, economic and ideological constructs of others. To exaggerate, the view is that certain white gentlemen – who have been at the helm of the world for several centuries – have created a pile of modern problems by constantly fighting each other, and they are getting worse. (Russia, thanks to its Soviet legacy, retains a special ‘get out of jail card’, but is generally perceived as being part of the broader West.) For the “first world,” there is no reason to help the minority deal with what it has created, because the developed community is not ready to change the system that has led things to a dead end, except cosmetically. It makes more sense to use the plight of the Global North to seek benefits for the Global South.

This is a simplified scheme, of course, and it will be adjusted for various circumstances, down to historical likes and dislikes. But it is really an auction: who will offer more and deliver it better? The US and its allies were the first to face such a situation. They were unpleasantly surprised by the firm unwillingness of non-Western countries to join the anti-Russian coalition in 2022. Now Moscow, too, sees the limits of its options. The majority of the world accepts Russia’s arguments about the causes of the conflict, but is not enthusiastic about the ongoing military campaign. The position of the majority countries is based on their own practical situations, with responsiveness to ideological appeals and proposals to change the world order serving as a garnish.

The latter resonates with the mood of many, but is not an urgent priority. There is neither a desire to borrow development models nor a demand for ideology, as there was in the twentieth century. Our proposals for developing an attractive ideological narrative to win the hearts and minds of the global majority are based on past experience, but the international landscape is very different now. Everyone is on their own. This is in fact the multipolar world that people sought when they wanted to defeat hegemony.

Read more …

“..politically, Europe has no foreign policy now. NATO is driving Europe’s foreign policy.”

Russian Economy Overtakes Germany, UK and France Despite Sanctions (Tweedie)

Russia’s economy has overtaken Germany’s thanks to US efforts to provoke a recession in Europe, says an economist. The World Bank reported last week that by the end of 2022, Russia’s wealth in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms exceeded $5 trillion for the first time — putting it ahead of western Europe’s three biggest economies France, financial giant the UK and industrial powerhouse Germany. PPP takes into account the varying cost of goods and services between different countries, not just raw GDP. Dr Jack Rasmus told Sputnik that what Russia’s rise “really represents is that Europe is slowing down its economy, particularly Germany.” “A lot of that has to do with global forces that were set in motion by the US driving Russia out of the Western European economy, providing cheaper energy,” Rasmus said.

“And now they’re paying more: they — Germany and Europe — pay more for US goods, particularly energy. And that’s taking its toll. It’s slowing the economy down.” US President Joe Biden claimed in March 2022 that the “ruble is rubble” as a result of Western sanctions — just before the Russian currency surged to its strongest exchange rate against the US Dollar in years. That September the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were sabotaged, an act that award-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed was carried out by the Biden administration. The academic argued that Russia’s economic growth did not mean the US had failed in its strategic objectives for the Ukraine conflict.

“The US is actually obtaining its objectives, which are to drive Russia totally not just in energy out of Western Europe, so that the US economy and capitalism can enter that vacuum and make Europe more economically dependent on the US,” Rasmus said. “That’s an objective of this war, to make Europe dependent economically on the US, which allows the US to manipulate it in many ways.” “If you look at Europe, it’s sliding into being an economic vassal of the United States,” he noted. “I think that was an objective. And politically, Europe has no foreign policy now. NATO is driving Europe’s foreign policy.”

But Washington’s long-term goal remains to engineer regime-change in Moscow and balkanize Russia. “That’s been a Neocon wet dream since 1999 to pretty much debilitate, break up Russia and get all the resources,” Rasmus said. “And face it, the Neocons have been running US policy here since the late nineties, since Bill Clinton couldn’t keep his zipper closed.” “What they want, ultimately, is to dismember Russia and to go to war with China,” he added. “It’s crazy and it’s World War Three, and you’ve got demented old leaders in the US who are just putty in the hands of the Neocons.”

Read more …

Nobody could have hurt the German economy more than the Germans do.

EU Sanctions On Russia Could Grind German Industry To A Halt – MP (RT)

The EU’s largest economy is facing a further economic decline and de-industrialization as a result of the bloc’s sanctions policy against Russia, German MP Uwe Schulz has warned. According to a statement published on the website of the right-wing AfD party, of which Schulz is a member, the punitive measures have failed to hurt Russia, but have devastated the German economy.“Sanctions against Russia and economic measures by the ruling Traffic Light Coalition [the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party] are leading Germany and its economic activity straight to de-industrialization,” the politician stated. He added it was “not surprising that in 2022 the Russian Federation displaced Germany from fifth place in the ranking of the world’s leading economies.”

The latest World Economics report showed that Russia was among the world’s five largest economies and the largest in Europe in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) as of the end of 2022, despite sanctions. The data indicated that Russia leaped ahead of Germany’s $5 trillion economy when measured in PPP. According to Schultz, the devastating effect of the Russia sanctions on the German economy is evidenced by “disappointing economic prospects [for the country] for 2023,” as well as “poor results in the automotive industry, [which] continue to lead to lower manufacturing output.” In this regard, the lawmaker called on the German government to immediately “lift economic sanctions against Russia” in order to “prevent [further] economic damage.”

This week, the head of the Federation of German Employers’ Associations in the Metal and Electrical Engineering Industries (Gesamtmetall), Stefan Wolf, said that the German economy is no longer competitive and has become the “sick man of Europe.” According to his estimates, the country could fall into recession in the second half of the year. Supplies of Russian gas and oil to the EU’s biggest economy were either significantly reduced or entirely halted after Brussels imposed multiple rounds of anti-Russia sanctions in response to the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow retaliated by slashing fuel deliveries and imposing a new ruble-based payment system. Prior to that, the German economy relied on Russia for 40% of its gas demand and about a third of its oil needs.

Read more …

Says a German paper. 99% is also partial.

Russia Takes ‘Partial Victory’ In Economic Confrontation With West (TASS)

Russia has won a partial victory in its economic confrontation with the West, having achieved growth in revenues from energy exports, despite Western sanctions. This is according to observers of the German newspaper Handelsblatt. The publication cites calculations by the Bloomberg agency, according to which Russia’s revenues in July 2023 increased by 5.3% year-on-year and amounted to $8.66 billion. “For the Kremlin, this is a partial economic victory over the West. For Washington and the EU, it is an alarming sign: in July, Russia <…>, despite Western sanctions, saw an increase in government revenues from oil and gas exports,” Handelsblatt observers wrote. Russia is earning “more from energy exports and thus is in a better position than a few months ago,” Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at the Swiss bank UBS, told the publication.


According to Robin Brooks, chief economist at the Institute of International Finance (IIF), sanctions “can be very effective when used against countries with current account deficits.” Such states depend on obtaining loans from foreign investors on the global capital market to finance imports. As the economist notes, Russia is not among such countries. According to the newspaper, as prices for Russian energy carriers rise, “doubts about [the usefulness] of EU sanctions are growing.” Gas prices are slowly rising, exceeding $350 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom’s gas supplies to Europe in transit through Ukraine amount to 42.3 million cubic meters per day through the Sudzha station.

Read more …

He won’t be around for long enough.,

Zelensky Will Never Negotiate With Putin – Ukrainian FM (RT)

If and when Kiev decides to negotiate with Moscow, it will not do so with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in an interview with the Italian outlet Corriere della Sera, published on Thursday. Putin “has committed too many very serious crimes,” Kuleba, who is recovering from Covid-19, told the outlet over the telephone. “It is clear to us that we will never be able to see Putin and [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky sitting at the same table.” “We can negotiate with Russia after the withdrawal of their troops from our territories, but not with Putin,” Kuleba insisted. Asked if this would mean an escalation of the conflict, Kuleba argued that “the worst has already happened, nothing can surprise us anymore,” and that the war had been total from the beginning.

“The counter-offensive will soon give us victories and we will continue to fight, we have no alternatives,” he added. “It’s not easy for our soldiers to advance. But, eventually, we will,” Kuleba said of the offensive, which he described as “progressing slowly but steadily.” He maintained that time was on Ukraine’s side “for the simple fact that our military capabilities are growing, while Russia’s are decreasing,” and that Kiev is “counting on the fact that the war will end in our favor at some point.” Kuleba made sure to thank Italy for the weapons and supplies it had delivered to Ukraine, noting that nothing would be enough “until we have won this war.” He also asked for even more artillery, ammunition, and anti-aircraft systems.

NATO-trained Ukrainian brigades, equipped with Western tanks and armored vehicles, have not been able to get past the Russian outposts on the southern front since early June, at a cost of an estimated 43,000 dead. Meanwhile, Russian troops have advanced in the north, threatening the Ukrainian hold on the key city of Kupiansk. In October 2022, Zelensky banned any Ukrainian from negotiating with Putin. The following month, he proposed a “peace platform” that demanded unconditional Russian withdrawal from territories Kiev claims as its own, including Crimea. Kiev has insisted on that as the only acceptable framework for talks ever since. Russia has rejected it as a delusional ultimatum, adding that Ukraine recognizing reality is a prerequisite for any peace talks.

Read more …

“..the original foundations of Ukraine’s sovereignty – its neutral, non-bloc adherence and non-nuclear status – must be confirmed in order to reach this [conflict] settlement.”

Peaceful Settlement Possible If Kiev Stops Hostilities, Terrorism (TASS)

A peaceful settlement in Ukraine is possible only if Kiev stops hostilities and terrorist attacks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told TASS on Thursday. “On our behalf, we continue maintaining our principled stance that a comprehensive, sustainable and just settlement is possible only if the Kiev regime stops the hostilities and terrorist attacks, while its Western sponsors stop pumping up the Ukrainian military with weapons,” Galuzin said in an interview with TASS. According to the Russian diplomat, “the original foundations of Ukraine’s sovereignty – its neutral, non-bloc adherence and non-nuclear status – must be confirmed in order to reach this [conflict] settlement.” “The new territorial realities must be recognized, the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine and the rights of its Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities must be ensured in accordance with the requirements of international law,” Galuzin added.

Read more …

“Rather than spending a single penny more fighting a proxy war in Ukraine and killing more people, a more worthwhile effort would be if Biden would put America first by allocating resources in our country to secure the southern border..”

NOTE: Ukraine aid is now tied in with disaster relief. Something nobody wants to vote down.

Biden Asks Congress for $13 Billion in New Ukraine Military Aid as Opposition Grows

US President Joe Biden in a letter to Congress has asked for an additional $13 billion in supplemental funding to continue military assistance to Ukraine next year. “$9.5 billion for equipment for Ukraine and replenishment of [US Department of Defense] stocks; and $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence, and other defense support,” the document said. Biden is also asking for $7.3 billion for economic, humanitarian, and security assistance to Ukraine. The proposal for additional Ukraine aid totals some $24 billion, including some $2.3 billion intended as leverage to gain more aid from other donors via the World Bank.

However, combined with an additional $2.65 billion in funding for border security, $12 billion in disaster relief efforts, and $416 million in combatting the fentanyl crisis, among other domestic matters, the congressional request totals upwards of $40 billion in supplemental aid. The Thursday filing marks the first such request by the Biden White House since Republicans claimed control of the House of Representatives at the start of the year. While previous requests had been largely met with Congress’ backing, GOP members have grown increasingly hesitant toward continued aid. In fact, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vowed in early June that any requests for supplemental Ukraine aid would not be taken up in the lower chamber – regardless of bipartisan efforts taken up in the Senate.

At the time, McCarthy explained that any additional funds would need to be cleared as part of an annual appropriations process, underscoring finances would have to be shifted elsewhere from the Pentagon’s funds. “I think what we really need to do, we need to get the efficiencies in the Pentagon,” the House speaker told US media in June when referring to the Pentagon’s budget. “Think about it, $886 billion. You don’t think there’s waste? … I consider myself a hawk, but I don’t want to waste money. So I think we’ve got to find efficiencies.” Shortly after the Thursday request was issued, US Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told Sputnik that US President Joe Biden must focus on supporting efforts to improve security within the United States, rather than on spending more funding on a proxy war in Ukraine.

“Rather than spending a single penny more fighting a proxy war in Ukraine and killing more people, a more worthwhile effort would be if Biden would put America first by allocating resources in our country to secure the southern border,” Gosar said, touching on the US’ continued fight to combat illegal immigration. He added that resources could also be better spent on “funding law enforcement efforts to combat the violent crime and drugs destroying cities across America, or aiding our homeless population, including countless veterans, who are sleeping on sidewalks.” The hefty request also comes as the US public has grown increasingly cold toward such military aid. A recent poll determined that 55% of surveyed Americans opposed Congress approving Ukraine aid, with only 45% disagreeing. Earlier Wednesday, the White House attempted to shoot down the sentiment, telling reporters that continued efforts were paramount to the “national security of the American people.”

Read more …

“..political spins are often built on illusions. The latest is that Joe Biden only benefits from these payments if they were directly deposited in his accounts..”

Washington is Attempting to Dismiss $20 Million as an Illusion (Turley)

This week, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer released a third report on the ongoing investigations into the Biden corruption scandal. The latest bank records indicate the Biden family has received more than $20 million, including from corrupt Kazakh figures. Some of this money provided Hunter Biden with extravagant toys. On April 22, 2014, Kazakh oligarch Kenes Rakishev wired $142,300 to the Rosemont Seneca Bohai bank account. That account then shows the exact same amount being wired to a New Jersey car dealership for a Fisker sports car for Hunter. Finding the Fisker unsuitable, Hunter traded it in for a Porsche. Notably, these payments often coincided with dinners and meetings with Joe Biden.

Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, the widow of Moscow ex-Mayor Yury Luzhkov, wired $3.5 million to Rosemont Seneca Thornton Feb. 14, 2014. She later attended a dinner with Joe and Hunter Biden at Washington, DC, hotspot Café Milano. For weeks, Joe Biden’s prior claims have been collapsing as his allies in the media and Congress struggle for an alternative spin on these new disclosures. The president’s denials of any knowledge of his son’s foreign dealings finally have been exposed as a lie. Even the Washington Post has acknowledged Biden lied when he insisted that Hunter never made any money in China. It was always a boldfaced falsehood (and a confusing claim from a man who insisted that he had no knowledge of his son’s foreign dealings).

But the testimony of associate Devon Archer and new bank records forced the paper and others to recognize the falsehood. There is also the confirmation that Biden’s long denials that he attended key dinners with Hunter’s business associates were false. Most notably, the media are grudgingly admitting that Hunter was openly selling influence peddling and access to his father as part of what Archer called “selling the brand.” The final line of defense is now that Hunter Biden was selling access to Joe Biden but it was an “illusion.” The reason, they claim, is there is no evidence of direct payments to Joe and Jill Biden.

There is, of course, nothing “illusionary” about tens of millions moving to Hunter and other family members. But political spins are often built on illusions. The latest is that Joe Biden only benefits from these payments if they were directly deposited in his accounts. For a family that Hunter explained was “the best” at this type of dealing, it is absurd to expect a deposit slip from a corrupt Ukrainian official to the account of Joe and Jill Biden, one of the most vulnerable accounts in the world to review and monitoring.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umbel

 

 

 

 

Croc

 

 

Hand bones

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 292023
 
 July 29, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Giuseppe Sanmartino The veiled Christ (Christo velato) 1753

 

Joe: Pardon Hunter And Withdraw From The 2024 Election (Turley)
No, The Truth About Biden Is Not Democratic (Lawrence)
Joe Biden Openly Acknowledges His Seventh Grandchild For The First Time (AP)
No Way Out (Kunstler)
Ukraine Counteroffensive Keeps Repeating Same Insane Mistakes (Scott Ritter)
Western Money Keeps Ukraine Alive – Orban (RT)
US’ Colonies In Europe Are Called NATO – Zakharova (RT)
West No Longer Has Charismatic Leaders – Zakharova (RT)
Neutral Status For Ukraine ‘Fundamental’ To Russia – Putin (RT)
BRICS Payment System Will Replace SWIFT In New ‘Non-Western World’ (RT)

 

 

 

 

Plea
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685107328998338560

 

 

Zakharova

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break the glass option. Sounds like a plan.

Joe: Pardon Hunter And Withdraw From The 2024 Election (Turley)

The collapse of the Hunter Biden plea bargain has left many in Washington shocked. After all, this is a city that knows how to fix a fight. After five years, the Biden corruption scandal was supposed to die with a vacuous plea bargain and no jail time. Most everyone was in on the fix, from members of Congress to the media to the prosecutors. The problem was the one notable omission: Judge Maryellen Noreika of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The sentencing hearing was a moment that made the Hindenburg disaster look like a seamless landing. Noreika asked a basic question on the implications of the agreement, and the entire deal immediately collapsed.

Now the Justice Department is in a bind. It could not admit in the hearing that Hunter Biden could escape future liability for a host of uncharged crimes. Yet, when a defendant backs out of a generous plea deal, federal prosecutors ordinarily will pursue all of the available charges — and jail time. While President Joe Biden once declared, in more colorful terms, that no one messes with a Biden, the Justice Department may now find it has no choice. It could be forced to actually treat Hunter like an ordinary citizen. The debacle in Delaware still could result in a plea deal. The parties have a month to “work things out,” and most judges sign off on deals, given the discretion afforded to the executive branch on criminal charging decisions.

They just need to be clear about the terms, and clarity is something neither side seemed eager to establish publicly during Wednesday’s hearing. However, an agreement would require prosecutors either to fight to preserve a sweetheart deal — one without additional future charges — or to proceed, as they would in most cases, with a full prosecution. That would include obvious potential charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Noreika forced the Justice Department to admit that it still could charge Biden as an unregistered foreign agent. That was the charge used against onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the similarities between the cases are striking. It took little time for the Justice Department to use the charge against Manafort. Yet, in the Hunter Biden investigation, five years have passed, and the Justice Department seemed mired in doubt over applying the same standard to the president’s son.

A FARA charge could further expose Hunter’s alleged influence-peddling operations, with what House GOP investigators say were millions in foreign payments from a virtual rogue’s gallery of foreign officials. The Justice Department also would face pressure to seek the same long jail sentence given to Manafort; he was sentenced to 73 months of imprisonment, which included the statutory maximum 60 months for a conspiracy to violate FARA. [..] If the Justice Department were to show the same aggressive effort toward Hunter Biden that was shown to figures like Manafort, Hunter could be looking at a real possibility of years in jail. There is, however, the ultimate “break-the-glass” option that I raised previously if the Bidens and their supporters could not rig the process: Joe Biden could pardon his son and then announce that he will not run for reelection.

Facing an impeachment inquiry, low public support, and a son in the legal dock, Biden could use the case to close out his political career. Of course, a pardon would be what I consider another abuse of the pardon power for personal benefit. President Bill Clinton waited until the end of his second term to pardon his half-brother. Biden could do the same by acknowledging that the pardoning of his son is a form of raw self-dealing. However, as he has said throughout the scandal, he loves his son and blames his crimes on his struggle with addiction and grieving.

Read more …

Empower Oversight

No, The Truth About Biden Is Not Democratic (Lawrence)

All this is as bread for the sandwich. In the 29th paragraph of this story The Times reports on FD–1023–the New York Post having forced its hand. Referring to Grassley, Luke Broadwater writes, “On Thursday, he released a document obtained from a whistleblower containing unverified allegations that both Hunter and President Biden had accepted bribes. The F.B.I. accused Mr. Grassley of risking “the safety of a confidential source” by releasing the document.” That is it, readers. You will read no more of what is in FD–1023 unless and until The Times is forced—by new revelations, the findings of a House investigation, or another New York Post story—to indulge in another round of obfuscation. There are occasions when The Times delights, even when it is at its worst. These occur when the facts do not fit the thesis, and its reporters are left swinging in the wind as they report sheer nonsense.

So it is with this piece, as Broadwater tells his readers Empower Oversight is a cabal of Republicans ideologically driven to sabotage innocent Democrats, and then: Empower Oversight rejects the suggestion its work is partisan in nature. While its leaders are Republicans, they say their job is to offer legal advice and support to whistle-blowers who approach them. Tristan Leavitt, the group’s president and a former aide to Mr. Grassley and other Hill Republicans, said his organization’s “nonpartisan work stands for itself.” Mr. Leavitt has worked… under a Democratic staff member, given presentations to left-leaning groups, and earned praise from other whistle-blower rights advocates. Empower Oversight is also a member of the Make It Safe Coalition, a group of organizations representing whistle-blowers across the political spectrum.

One of the I.R.S. whistle-blowers the group represents said he is a Democrat. After this extraordinary passage, our Luke returns without pause to the theme that Empower Oversight is a cabal of Republicans driven by ideology to sabotage innocent Democrats. Luke, Luke, tell us what it is. You cannot report the case being “A,” then the case being “not–A,” and then return to reporting “A.” It causes us to wonder about the qualifications of your assignment editor—apart from your own, of course. Miranda Devine, a divinely dogged New York post columnist, published a commentary after the paper’s piece on the revelations in FD–1023 headlined, “The Joe Biden bribe allegations need a special counsel, now.” I’ll say.

“The story of the Biden family’s corrupt influence-peddling scheme, which netted tens of millions of dollars from Ukraine, China, Russia and beyond, is scandal enough,” Devine writes. “But the coverup—from Big Tech’s censorship of the Post’s reporting from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, and CIA lies that it was Russian disinformation, to the burying of this FD–1023—is bigger than Watergate.” Indeed, Miranda. Now tell me, does this seem to you a truth like any other—with no brand, no ideology attaching to it, being neither Republican nor Democratic?

Read more …

Coward.

Joe Biden Openly Acknowledges His Seventh Grandchild For The First Time (AP)

The US president, Joe Biden, has for the first time publicly acknowledged his seventh grandchild, a four-year-old girl, Navy, fathered by his son Hunter with Arkansas woman Lunden Roberts in 2018. “Our son Hunter and Navy’s mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of their daughter, preserving her privacy as much as possible going forward,” Biden said in a statement that was first reported by People magazine. “This is not a political issue, it’s a family matter,” he said. “Jill and I only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.” Hunter Biden’s paternity was established by DNA testing after Roberts sued for child support. The two parties recently resolved outstanding child support issues.

The president’s son wrote about his encounter with Roberts in his 2021 memoir, saying it came while he was deep in addiction to alcohol and drugs, including crack cocaine. “I had no recollection of our encounter,” he wrote. “That’s how little connection I had with anyone. I was a mess, but a mess I’ve taken responsibility for.” An attorney for Roberts did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press. The president, who has made a commitment to family central to his public persona, has faced increasing criticism from political rivals and pundits for failing to acknowledge the granddaughter.

Hunter Biden has four other children, including a son, Beau, born by his wife, Melissa Cohen, in 2020. He was named after the president’s late son who died of cancer in 2015, leaving behind two children. Biden’s grandchildren have played a distinct role in his presidency, often accompanying the president or first lady on trips and making regular visits to the White House. The president has also credited his grandchildren with persuading him to challenge the then president Donald Trump for the White House in 2020.

Read more …

“Monday is also the last day before the legislature’s summer recess, which means not much of anything may happen to advance any of these matters until early September..”

No Way Out (Kunstler)

Anyway, after the Delaware courtroom fracas Wednesday, Hunter had to fall back on pleading not guilty as a place-holder while his lawyers and the Feds go back to square one negotiating something Judge Noreika might accept, which, conceivably, might be no plea deal at all, considering the insults already proffered to her by both sides in the case. In the meantime, would it amuse you to learn that part of Hunter Biden’s pretrial release agreement stipulates that the First Son must make an earnest effort to search for employment? Do you know of some position in the real world (assuming there is a real world) where a person can show up for work with six secret service agents in tow? I didn’t think so. He’ll also be subject to periodic drug tests and is forbidden to indulge in alcohol. Good luck with that!

The chance that Hunter would actually go to trial, even on these rinky-dink tax and firearm charges, is about equal to the chance that Xi Jinping will serve a dim sum breakfast to the Biden family at Rehobeth Beach on Labor Day morning. But its looking like Judge Noreika will not let Hunter off-the-hook on the gargantuan hairball of potential influence peddling matters, which are the actual meat of the Biden family’s legal problems — and that means “Joe Biden” is not off-the-hook either. Which means he might have to resort to pardoning Hunter and possibly himself for as-yet-unfiled charges of bribery, money-laundering and other extremely serious violations. If that happens, it is the end of the pretense that “Joe Biden” is a reelection candidate.

But, while all this melodrama unspools, there is also the creeping hazard of impeachment ahead. The Speaker of the House himself suggested it days ago. Rep. James Comer’s House Oversight Committee has already assembled an impressive stack of bank records tracing the journeys of various multi-million-dollar payments — for no particular services rendered — through an unholy host of shell companies and is now rumored to be compiling records of previously hidden Biden family offshore bank accounts in places such as the Cayman Islands and Panama.

Biden Family foot-soldier Devon Archer is scheduled for a deposition this coming Monday, and since he was thrown under the bus by Hunter on a federal bond fraud rap a few years back, there is every expectation that he will unload a dumpster of ripe trouble on his former intimates. However, Monday is also the last day before the legislature’s summer recess, which means not much of anything may happen to advance any of these matters until early September — and then it is possible that all hell busts loose for the republic as we enter the traditional season of hurricanes and financial fiascos, not to mention what looks like a mounting acknowledgement that our Ukraine proxy war project has utterly failed… and this overhanging threat of impeachment hearings.

Read more …

It’s all they have…

Ukraine Counteroffensive Keeps Repeating Same Insane Mistakes (Scott Ritter)

When the current Ukrainian counteroffensive was first conceived, back in the fall of 2022, Ukraine was coming off a case study in persistence that had, in fact, paid off—a successful counteroffensive that had succeeded in pushing Russian forces out of the Kharkov region, and which recaptured the right bank of Kherson Oblast, including the city of Kherson. This success was facilitated by the provision by NATO of tens of billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment and training, along with operational planning support informed by NATO intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance resources. When the fall counteroffensive ran its course, the Ukrainian’s and their NATO masters turned to the task of building a new Ukrainian army to replace the one that had shed its blood in Kharkov and Kherson, a new Ukrainian army which would seek to resume offensive operations in the spring of 2023.

zone of operations and advance 84 kilometers to the city of Melitopol, control of which, Zaluzhny stated, “would give us a full fire control of the land corridor [connecting the Crimean peninsula to the Donbass and Russia], because from Melitopol we can already fire at the Crimean Isthmus.” Zaluzhny, expressing confidence derived from recent battlefield success, declared “I know that I can beat this enemy,” before adding a caveat: “But I need resources.” Zaluzhny said that “I can calculate, based on the task at hand, what kind of resource is needed to build combat capability,” before citing numbers: “I need 300 tanks, 600-700 infantry fighting vehicles, 500 Howitzers.” Zaluzhny was quick to note, “I’m not talking about F-16s right now.” But he did say he needed artillery ammunition—lots of it. And he stated that NATO was unable to meet this need.

Zaluzhny got the equipment he was looking for. His forces were dispatched to NATO nations for training, while his battleplans were closely coordinated with Ukraine’s NATO partners. Select Ukrainian units were dispatched to Grafenwoehr, Germany, where they were provided with a five-week course taught by US instructors that focused on how to effectively conduct company- and battalion-size combined-arms operations integrating artillery, armor and infantry forces.Zaluzhny’s objective was the city of Melitopol. To get there, the Ukrainian army needed to breach Russian defenses which had been prepared for months. Ukrainian commanders and their NATO partners believed that they key to victory was to pit well-trained, well-equipped, and highly motivated Ukrainian forces up against Russian troops whose training and moral were deemed inferior and who, it subjected to the full weight of the Ukrainian attack, would break and run.

In January 2023, Ukrainian forces began probing the Russian defenses, looking for the weakest point that would then be turned into the focal point of their assault. Near the village of Robotino, in Zaporozhye, they believed they found it—a seam between the 291stMotorized Rifle Regiment (MRR) and the 70th MRR of the 42ndGuard Motorized Rifle Division. NATO picked its two best-trained and best equipped Ukrainian brigades—the 33rd, which operated the US-made M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, and the 47th, which was equipped with German-made Leopard main battle tanks. Both brigades had been trained by the US in combined arms tactics, which they were tasked with employing with full force along the seam between the 291st MRR and the 70th MRR. The Ukrainian soldiers were led to believe that the Russian troops assigned to these tow units would run away or surrender at the first sign of serious fighting.

The Ukrainian attack began on June 8, 2023, striking towards the Russian defenses in and around the village of Robotino. Within hours it was clear to all involved that the expectations of the Ukrainian and NATO commanders did not match the reality on the ground—the Russian soldiers manning the Robotino defenses held fast, a by-product of good training, outstanding leadership, sound tactics, and adequate equipment.

Read more …

Well, “alive”…

Western Money Keeps Ukraine Alive – Orban (RT)

Ukraine is not a fully sovereign country, since it depends on Western donations to fund government spending, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has argued. And it’s the US that determines whether that aid will continue, he believes. “The Americans can pull out a lot of money with all sorts of financial manipulations, but the euro is a different story, it’s not suited for that,” Orban said on Friday, in an interview with Kossuth radio. While it is true that Ukrainians have suffered most from the hostilities, the premier added, the country’s dependence means that the conflict cannot be called Ukrainian. A nation that cannot pay its expenses cedes sovereignty to donors, he stated. “The Ukrainians have run out of strength. The only thing keeping Ukraine alive is Western money,” the PM stated.

Brussels now cannot deliver on its obligations to its member states, including Hungary, the country’s leader claimed, calling the bloc’s support of Kiev one of the factors behind the financial shortfall. Orban expects that a shift in Washington may occur next year, amid the upcoming presidential election. In Europe, public opinion is putting pressure on politicians to seek peace, because “in a democracy the will of the people and the policies of the leadership cannot be that much at odds with each other in the long term.” He reiterated Budapest’s support for peace talks. The EU had lost an opportunity to “localize” the ongoing conflict the way former German Chancellor Angela Merkel did with the previous crisis in 2014, he claimed.

Members of the 27-nation bloc suffered economically after going along with the US-led campaign to punish Russia with sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, a fact that Budapest consistently raises. In 2014, a Western-backed armed coup in Kiev deposed Ukraine’s democratically elected government and empowered nationalist forces. People in Crimea then voted in a referendum to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, while those living in Donbass demanded significant autonomy. Kiev reacted by sending its military to quash what it saw as a rebellion in the east, but failed. Merkel helped negotiate the so-called Minsk Agreements, which proposed a road to peaceful reintegration of Donbass into Ukraine. She has since admitted that the never-implemented deal was, in reality, meant to buy time for Ukraine to build up its armed forces with Western help.

Read more …

“community of colonies.”

US’ Colonies In Europe Are Called NATO – Zakharova (RT)

European nations used to be colonial overlords but now they’ve become colonial underlings of the US, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. The senior diplomat brought up Europe’s colonialist past, speaking exclusively to RT on Friday on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg. Colonialism, she stated, is in the bones of Western civilization. “For centuries the Western world formed around one simple and terrifying thought: that they are exceptional because they are strong,” she said. “They have no need to justify anything, they must simply reap the benefits of aggressive exploitation of the planet. That is their collective reasoning.” The US subjugation of North America and other lands followed the same colonialist pattern, the Russian official added.

However, the decolonization process has significantly progressed and now former European colonies in Africa, Asia and Latin America not only have formal attributes of statehood, but also have the strength and courage to pursue sovereign policies, Zakharova said. And African leaders came to the forum in Russia in defiance of Western pressure and threats, she pointed out. While former colonies are defending their independence, some of their former European overlords went in the opposite direction, Zakharova claimed. Members of the EU “have lost their sovereignty and subjected themselves to the will of Washington and, to some extent … London.”

“They truly became colonies, colonies of the US. This community of colonies is named NATO,” she said. And, according to Zakharova, the US is now willing to drive even more nations into this “community of colonies.” Western Europe is no longer enough for Washington, “they have already set their sights on Asia and other regions,” the diplomat added. “Everyone understands this very well.” Moscow has long perceived the bloc’s eastward expansion as a major threat to its national security. Senior officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly cited Ukraine’s NATO aspirations as one of the factors that led to Russia’s escalation of a years-long conflict to military action against its neighbor.

Read more …

Not sure “charismatic” is the best translation.

West No Longer Has Charismatic Leaders – Zakharova (RT)

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed Western powers are seeing a decline in leadership standards, with politicians following selfish motives rather than serving the public good. “There are no more charismatic politicians who can lead the people and rally for creative goals, help them overcome difficulties and reach new levels,” the diplomat said in an exclusive interview with RT on Friday, referring to EU countries and the West in general. “Clowns” who impress the public with “eccentric, shocking, outrageous” acts have taken the place of the true leaders of the past, she argued, describing others as spokespeople for bureaucracies, with a low level of competence.

Modern Western politicians are propped up by media craftsmen, who promote an “image, that one puts on like a fancy costume” instead of highlighting a politician’s nature, while many elected officials have become pure lobbyists for the elites, with nothing to offer their people, she claimed. Zakharova believes that governance problems in the West are down to the selfish motives of those going into politics. “A person obsessed with becoming richer, more famous and powerful… loses what was given to them,” she argued.

Meanwhile in the East and the Global South, there are leaders with more selfless motivations, who are given more power as their nations grow stronger, Zakharova noted. She was speaking on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg. “One man from the Global South changed the course of the history of the entire world. His name was Jesus Christ,” Zakharova said, calling Jesus “the example one should follow, a man who was ready to totally change the world for the sake of creation, not destruction.” The Foreign Ministry spokewoman went on to predict that the ideology dominating the West will crumble, as selfish individuals can only enjoy temporary success.

Read more …

They know.

Neutral Status For Ukraine ‘Fundamental’ To Russia – Putin (RT)

Kiev becoming a member of NATO is an existential threat to Russian national security and will not be tolerated, Russian President Vladimir Putin told representatives of several African countries on Friday. In the document that ushered in Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union, “it is written in black and white that Ukraine is a neutral state,” Putin reminded the visiting African leaders, during the public part of their meeting in St. Petersburg. The president was referring to the 1990 declaration proclaiming Soviet Ukraine a sovereign state that would strive to become “a permanently neutral country.” “This is of fundamental importance. Why the West began to drag Ukraine into NATO is not very clear to us. But this created, in our opinion, a fundamental threat to our security,” Putin added.

“We cannot accept the advance towards our borders of military infrastructure of a bloc that is de facto hostile to us.” Putin and several members of the African Union peace mission met to discuss the Ukraine conflict, after the two-day Russia-Africa summit attended by representatives of 49 states from the continent. While Russia has always said it is ready to negotiate an end to hostilities, Kiev has passed a law prohibiting talks with Moscow and reneged on the agreement negotiated in March 2022 in Istanbul, Putin stated. According to Putin, during last year’s meeting in Türkiye, the Ukrainian delegation initially agreed to sign a neutrality pact that would also cap Ukraine’s heavy weapons and hardware. However, the preliminary deal had been “thrown out” shortly afterward, the Russian leader said earlier this year.

Ukrainian officials walked away from negotiations after accusing the Russian military of atrocities in Bucha and other areas around the country’s capital. Moscow had denied that its troops were killing civilians. Kiev later argued that meaningful negotiations cannot commence until Moscow surrenders Crimea and four other territories that voted to leave Ukraine and become parts of Russia. Moscow repeatedly stressed that it was impossible.Speaking on Friday, the Russian president repeated his long-standing position that the current crisis was caused by the 2014 “anti-constitutional, armed, bloody coup” in Kiev, carried out with “active support” of the US and other Western governments. Following the coup, Crimea organized a referendum to join Russia. Kiev sent the military and nationalist militias to crush dissent in Odessa and Kharkov regions, but ran into resistance in Donetsk and Lugansk, which would declare independence later that year.

The 2015 Minsk Agreements envisioned a process by which the two regions could return to Ukraine with guarantees of autonomy, but Kiev never implemented it. Former German leader Angela Merkel claimed last December that the Minsk process was only a play for time by the West to arm Ukraine for a war against Russia. Former president of France, Francois Hollande, seconded Merkel’s interpretation. As part of the African Peace Initiative, leaders of seven countries from the continent visited Ukraine and Russia in mid-June. Though Moscow expressed interest in exploring the African proposal further, Kiev has insisted that only its “peace formula” – a ten-point plan amounting to Russia’s unconditional surrender – would be acceptable to Ukraine.

Read more …

Difficult.

BRICS Payment System Will Replace SWIFT In New ‘Non-Western World’ (RT)

The unipolar world is collapsing and a multipolar world is being formed with the participation of Africa, where a newly-minted middle-class will drive consumer demand in the near future, the head of the Coordinating Committee for Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AFROCOM), Igor Morozov told RT on Friday. Last year alone, 19 African countries applied for BRICS membership because they wanted completely new economic relations, Morozov revealed on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit. After the US and the EU seized Russia’s forex reserves, the world realized that it is not only a “political weapon,” but an instrument of financial pressure on the external and internal policy of any country and any continent, according to Morozov. The US dollar has been weaponized, which is why nations will gradually move away from using it in trade and the BRICS payment system will replace the SWIFT financial messaging network in a “new non-Western world.”

“African leaders are also concerned about further use of the dollar and euro. In this regard, the number of countries wishing to join BRICS is growing rapidly, because this is an alternative payment system that is due to emerge within half a year,” he said. BRICS is pushing towards trade in national currencies and has begun efforts to establish a joint payment network to cut off reliance on the Western financial system, particularly the dollar. Russian trade ties with African countries have been strengthening in recent years and there’s more room for growth, including through free-trade zones that are actively developing in African countries, Morozov noted.

“We are ready and we will supply annually through humanitarian aid everything that we have in the agro-industrial complex. Our tractors, aggregates, mineral fertilizers and technologies. We’ve achieved amazing results in ten years and we want to share this experience with our African partners,” he stated.He added that Russia would “do everything” to ensure the African economy has a future with access to innovative technologies.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 282023
 


Andy Warhol Judy Garland 1978

 

Experts Say Expecting Kiev To Win Is Definition Of ‘Insanity’ – USA Today (RT)
Why is Ukraine’s ‘New Offensive’ Doomed? (Burunov)
US Experts Slowly Admitting Ukraine Can’t Win, Hope for Stalemate (Sp.)
How Far Will The NATO Allies Go To Fight Their Losing War In Ukraine? (Helmer)
US Military Planners to Blame for ‘Stupid’ Ukraine Counter-Offensive (Tweedie)
Biden Admin Played Vital Role in Crimean Bridge Attacks – Sy Hersh (Sp.)
Ukrainian Corruption Threatens US Assistance (RT)
The Western Elite Just Gave Itself A ‘World Peace And Liberty’ Award (Marsden)
Will Collapse of Hunter Biden Plea Deal End Up in Joe’s Impeachment? (Sp.)
Hunter Biden’s Judge Raised The One Question The White House Most Fears (FP)
Hunter’s Court Transcript Debunks Major Biden Lies Central To Bribery Scheme (TP)
New Charges Added to Trump Mar-a-Lago Case, Third Defendant Named (Sp.)
The Russia-Global South Connection: Africa as Strategic Partner (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor


 

 

Hannity

 

 

Comer Cruz

 

 

 

 

“..Zelensky has locked himself into a position in which he “can’t win, but can’t afford to lose, either.”

Experts Say Expecting Kiev To Win Is Definition Of ‘Insanity’ – USA Today (RT)

Continuing to arm Ukraine and expecting it to defeat Russia is “strategic insanity” for Washington and other NATO members because Kiev is locked in an unwinnable stalemate with a foe that never aimed to conquer the former Soviet republic, USA Today has reported, citing multiple US foreign-policy experts. The report, published on Thursday, hints at a shifting narrative for Western media outlets, which had been touting Ukraine’s alleged battlefield successes, as well as vows by the Biden administration that Kiev must be supported with massive military and economic aid for “as long as it takes” to win the conflict with Russia.

Georgetown University professor Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, told the newspaperthat Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has begun to lose credibility – Kiev’s “main asset” – with Western benefactors. He claimed that Zelensky has locked himself into a position in which he “can’t win, but can’t afford to lose, either.” “NATO is experiencing donor fatigue and disappointment with Zelensky’s bluster,” said McFate, a US Army veteran who also has consulted for the Pentagon and the CIA. He added that continuing to send billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry to Ukraine on expectations that Zelensky’s regime can win the conflict is “the definition of strategic insanity.”

Air Force veteran Steven Myers, an entrepreneur who has advised the US State Department on foreign policy, told USA Today that a stalemate was the most likely outcome because, contrary to the Western political and media narrative, Russian President Vladimir Putin never intended a war of conquest. While NATO members have argued that Ukraine must be supported because Putin planned to conquer Kiev and move westward, Myers suggested that Russia has proven otherwise. Russian military tactics during the conflict have been “completely inconsistent with conquest,” Myers said. Rather, he added, Putin’s only real agenda was to keep Ukraine out of NATO. “Strategically, this war was lost by both sides before it started. It will end in stalemate, which I think was Putin’s intent from the get-go.”

US defense officials have continued to insist that Kiev can defeat Russia, even as Ukraine suffers heavy losses of troops and Western-supplied weaponry in a long-heralded counteroffensive that began in early June. The situation at the front is “not a stalemate,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday at the White House. He acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are “not going as far or as fast as they would like.” Kiev has now begun the “main thrust” of its counteroffensive by bringing forward thousands of troops who had been held in reserve, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified Pentagon officials. White House and Pentagon officials are “watching the increased activity with keen interest,” the newspaper said, adding that one senior aide called Kiev’s latest push “the big test.”

However, Steven Myers told USA Today that Western and Ukrainian leaders have made vows on which they can’t possibly deliver. “President Biden, NATO and Zelensky have trapped themselves in a Catch 22 of their own making – unable to deliver on unrealistic expectations they created,” he said. Ukrainian forces are suffering casualties at ten times the rate of the Russian military as they press forward with their “failed”counteroffensive, Putin has said. He reported on Sunday that more than 26,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed since their counteroffensive began. Russian units also have destroyed dozens of Western-supplied tanks and other armored vehicles.

Read more …

“..Ukraine’s “new counteroffensive” as “the fruit of creativity of the US and the UK’s joint headquarters.”

Why is Ukraine’s ‘New Offensive’ Doomed? (Burunov)

Kiev’s alleged second stage of the counteroffensive is nothing but a propaganda trick by the West to demonstrate that Kiev is still able to carry out certain missions, Moscow-based military expert and retired Russian Army colonel Anatoly Matviychuk told Sputnik. All attempts by the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) to re-launch their counteroffensive have been halted and the enemy has been pushed back, suffering heavy losses, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. Speaking at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, he said that during the UAF’s latest attack, more than 200 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and that Russian forces had destroyed at least 26 enemy tanks. He added that 60% of the UAF’s military hardware had already been obliterated during the renewed hostilities.

According to him, “the enemy was not successful in any of the directions of firefight.” The Russian president spoke after a US newspaper reported about UAF forces launching “the main thrust of its counteroffensive” as they threw in “thousands of troops held in reserve, many of them Western-trained and equipped.” The way Western media are trumpeting about this so-called new offensive indicates “a provocative propaganda trick to show that Ukraine can still perform some tasks,” Anatoly Matviychuk said. Dwelling on whether there is “any prospect” related to Ukraine’s “new offensive,” the expert said that he remains “skeptical,” first of all due to the UAF’s “very low system of fire support for troops.”

“Secondly is the complete absence of the UAF’s presence in the air, with the Russian Air Force controlling the enemy throughout the entire depth of its operational area. I think that this ‘offensive’ may have some temporary tactical successes … but I do not foresee any changes at the frontline. And everything will most likely end the way Ukraine’s ‘first’ advance wrapped up,” he pointed out. When asked why the UAF picked the Zaporozhye direction for the current phase of its counteroffensive, Matviychuk said that it is the area where “military and political interests intersect.” According to the Russian expert, if it captured the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the UAF could imitate a possible radioactive contamination of the area and demand that Russia withdraw its troops from there and demilitarize the area, allegedly in order to protect Europe from a radioactive cloud.

“Also, this area directly leads to Crimea via the shortest route. The most interesting thing is that there are many English-speaking military personnel in the UAF being spotted in this area, including advisers, instructors, and even the UK army’s ‘special air service’”, Matviychuk noted, describing Ukraine’s “new counteroffensive” as “the fruit of creativity of the US and the UK’s joint headquarters.” He explained that Russian forces would tackle the UAF with the help of “mobile reserves” that “have been created in the form of tanks, combat vehicles, infantry, and armored personnel carriers.” “Most importantly, our aviation has practically shifted to systematic combat actions in the entire Russian special military operation zone … That is, we are currently conducting a so-called active defense to weaken the enemy by launching attacks,” the expert concluded.

Read more …

A stalemate is when both parties can’t move…

US Experts Slowly Admitting Ukraine Can’t Win, Hope for Stalemate (Sp.)

Ukraine has been throwing wave after wave of men and equipment at Russia’s defensive lines, but has yet to make any significant gains. This has seemingly caused a shift in the Western narrative regarding the conflict. US media has begun to shift gears and acknowledge the Ukraine conflict is more likely to not be the win Western leadership once touted, with one outlet quoting experts openly admitting Ukraine cannot defeat Russia on the battlefield, and that Russia never planned to conquer Ukraine or move West after the special military operation. Steven Myers, an Air Force veteran and former adviser to the State Department told mainstream media that Russia’s tactics have been “completely inconsistent with conquest,” countering Western media and governments’ narrative that alleged Russia would attack other European nations after the special operation.

Myers added that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s only goal was to keep Ukraine out of NATO. “Strategically, this war was lost by both sides before it started. It will end in stalemate, which I now think was Putin’s intent from the get-go,” Myers said. Myers also pointed to unrealistic expectations set by NATO, the US and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about what their tactics could achieve. Zelensky has consistently promised to return Ukraine to its pre-2014 borders, despite the situation on the ground making that a near impossibility. “President Biden, NATO and Zelensky have trapped themselves in a Catch 22 of their own making – unable to deliver on unrealistic expectations they created,” Meyers said. It should be noted that Meyers called for mediation to end the conflict in February, writing then that “the situation is desperate” for Ukraine, and that it was time to “end this tragedy.”

However, the outlet also talked to Sean McFate, a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow of the notoriously pro-war Atlantic Council think tank. But even McFate predicted Ukraine would be unable to expel Russia from its former territories, admitting Ukraine’s counteroffensive “has been floundering” and that “NATO is experiencing donor fatigue and disappointment with Zelensky’s bluster.” A feat that is causing the former comedian-turned-president to lose his credibility with his NATO allies, which he called “Ukraine’s main asset.” That bluster, McFate said, has put Zelensky “in a box. He can’t win but he can’t afford to lose either.” He added that providing more weapons to Ukraine and expecting them to win is “the definition of insanity.”

The narrative in the West has so far been that Ukraine is winning the conflict, that Russia’s Army is on the verge of collapse and that a Ukrainian breakthrough is just around the corner. But after months of the same claims, the narrative appears to be shifting significantly, especially after it became apparent that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive would not provide the gains that its Western benefactors have awaited. US officials, however, appear to be keeping a brave face despite Ukraine’s failures. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby earlier insisted the front has not devolved into a stalemate and said Ukrainian forces were “moving.” However, even he admitted that they are “not going as far, or as fast, as they would like.”

Putin

Read more …

“..if the Poles move east, the Germans will be motivated to move east as well, in order to recover the Prussian territories Germany lost in its defeat and capitulation at the end of World War II. ”

How Far Will The NATO Allies Go To Fight Their Losing War In Ukraine? (Helmer)

When the Ukrainian and NATO forces have lost their war in eastern Ukraine by Christmas, what will happen to the rump of western Ukraine? The Russian warning, issued last Friday at the Security Council by President Vladimir Putin, is that the Russian Army will defend western Ukraine, known as Galicia, from any attempt at intervention by Polish forces under either a NATO “peacekeeping” formula, or a bilateral defence arrangement between the Kiev regime and Warsaw to slip Galicia under NATO Article Five protection. Putin’s warning was concrete, explicit, geographically limited. It applied to the current western borders of the Ukraine, the eastern border of Poland, and the Polish-Belarus border. “I would also like to remind you what Poland’s aggressive policy led to.

It led to the national tragedy of 1939, when Poland’s Western allies threw it to the German wolf, the German military machine. Poland actually lost its independence and statehood, which were only restored thanks in a large measure to the Soviet Union. It was also thanks to the Soviet Union and thanks to Stalin’s position that Poland acquired substantial territory in the west, German territory. It is a fact that Poland’s western lands are a gift from Stalin. Have our Warsaw friends forgotten this? We will remind them.” The Warsaw friends weren’t the only audience Putin intended. His warning is also addressed to the Berlin friends, the Baltic friends, the Paris, Brussels, and Budapest friends, and of course, the Washington friends.

In December 2021, they were offered the terms of mutual security and non-aggression in Europe in treaties for the US and NATO tabled by the Russian Foreign Ministry. They were dismissed in diplomatic negotiations lasting less than a month. By Christmas of this year, as Putin has just pointed out, the Ukrainian army and the NATO forces will have expended their capacities to continue the fight. “The whole world sees that the vaunted Western, supposedly invulnerable, military equipment is on fire”, he added. What can happen next is “an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.” This is a warning that if the Poles move east, the Germans will be motivated to move east as well, in order to recover the Prussian territories Germany lost in its defeat and capitulation at the end of World War II.

Hungary too will be motivated to change its northeastern border in order to rescue the ethnic Hungarian population of Transcarpathia in southwest Ukraine. In short, Putin was announcing that “Stalin’s gift”, as he called it, was the stability of the post-1945 territorial settlement. Now, in defeating NATO’s attempt to destroy the Russians east of Kiev, the Russians are warning afresh that if NATO attempts to change its defence lines west of Kiev, the Russian army will dictate an entirely new territorial settlement in which NATO will be an even bigger loser of military capacity and territorial extension than the non-aggression treaties of December 17, 2021, offered. The 1990 promise of not one inch eastward for NATO is reversing by one thousand kilometres westward.

Read more …

“politicians in uniform” looking out for lucrative directorships in the big arms firms..”

US Military Planners to Blame for ‘Stupid’ Ukraine Counter-Offensive (Tweedie)

NATO’s proxy conflict with Russia in Ukraine has reached crisis point after the much-hyped southern offensive failed to break through Russian lines. Retired US diplomat and former Republican Senate foreign policy adviser Jim Jatras said Washington politicians and Pentagon leaders cared little for those dying at the front. US military strategists are guilty of “criminal” incompetence in their plan for Ukraine’s disastrous offensive, a Washington advisor has said. According to the Russian ministry of Defence, Ukrainian forces have taken tens of thousands of casualties and lost around 1,250 tanks and other armoured vehicles — including the latest US and German models — more than 400 artillery pieces and more than two dozen jet aircraft and helicopters in the first few weeks of their attempt to cut off Crimea from the Russian mainland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin judged that those losses had led to “no success.” US military pundits have pointed out that the Pentagon would never have launched such a military campaign without first gaining air superiority — which they admit Ukraine is incapable of. Retired diplomat Jim Jatras told Sputnik that the US-devised plan for Ukraine’s southern offensive was not only “stupid” but “criminal.” “These people sent the Ukrainian forces into this meat grinder, knowing exactly what the result was going to be,” Jatras charged. “The only thing I can think of is they had some idea they could use this as some kind of a jujitsu to justify a direct military intervention of perhaps close air forces in Ukraine. That doesn’t seem to be on the cards either, now.” Russian president Vladimir Putin has condemned the US and other NATO nations for fighting a proxy conflict with Russia “to the last Ukrainian.”

“This disregard for life is really, truly criminal,” Jatras said. “I’m a little bit surprised that Ukrainians are still willing to do the powerlessness of their so-called supporters. You really wonder at what point Ukrainian soldiers start deciding that they’re safer trying to shoot their officers than trying to shoot the Russians, because they just these men to just keep going to their deaths.” The Washington adviser drew a distinction between real military leaders and the “politicians in uniform” looking out for lucrative directorships in the big arms firms. But he rejected the idea that US President Joe Biden had been forced into the scheme of using Ukraine as a proxy belligerent against Russia by the Military-Industrial Complex.

“I don’t think Joe Biden is being steamrolled. I think he is corrupt up to his eyeballs, including corruption from Ukraine, and he doesn’t care any more than the rest of them,” Jatras argued. Biden is “more than willing to go through the motions and send these people to their deaths and keep enriching all of the interests.” The US mainstream media have been complicit in beating the drum for confrontation with Russia in Ukraine. “The Wall Street Journal carries waters for the industries we’re talking about. And the blood of people, especially foreigners, doesn’t matter that much to them,” Jatras noted. “The question is, where do they go from here? I think that we are really nearing a kind of a double inflection point — do these people find some way to back out of this thing?”

Read more …

“What will Putin do? We don’t think that far. Our national strategy is that Zelensky can do whatever he wants to do. There’s no adult supervision.”

Biden Admin Played Vital Role in Crimean Bridge Attacks – Sy Hersh (Sp.)

The Biden Administration played a vital role in both recent deadly attacks on the Crimean Bridge, providing Ukraine with the necessary technology, US journalist Seymour Hersh reported on Thursday, citing a US official.v “Of course it was our technology,” the US official was quoted by Hersh as saying. “The drone was remotely guided and half submerged—like a torpedo.” When Hersh asked if there was any thought before the bridge attacks about the possibility of Russia’s retaliation, the official responded with “What will Putin do? We don’t think that far. Our national strategy is that Zelensky can do whatever he wants to do. There’s no adult supervision.” On October 8, 2022, a car detonated on the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Crimean Peninsula with Russia’s mainland. Five people, including the driver of the truck, were killed. The bridge itself was seriously damaged.

On July 17, a submersible drone carried out another attack on the Crimean Bridge, killing a woman and a man and wounding their teenage daughter. In addition, the journalist reported that Ukraine shipped drugs and Russian oil under the cover of the UN-mediated Black Sea Grain Deal, an accord that was meant to bolster global food security. “Odessa’s exports included illegal stuff like drugs and the oil that Ukraine was getting from Russia,” according to the US official quoted by Hersh. nRussia refused to extend the Black Sea deal last week, following its long-time criticism of the UN’s failure to facilitate its own grain and fertilizer exports as was required under the agreement.

The decision also came following the July 17 attack on the Crimean bridge with marine surface drones, which killed a couple who were driving across when the blast occurred and wounded their teen daughter. According to the correspondent, the US and Ukrainian military now abstain from making forecasts regarding future success in the counteroffensive because Russia has a clear advantage on the battlefield. “The American and Ukrainian military are no longer making any predictions,” the US official was quoted by Hersh as saying. “The Ukrainian army has not gotten past the first of three Russian defense lines. Every mine the Ukrainians dig up is replenished at night by the Russians.”

The reality, the interlocutor clarified, “is that the balance of power in the war is settled. Putin has what he wants.” Ukraine is not capable of returning Crimea, Donetsk, Kherson, Lugansk and the Zaporozhye Region, the official stressed, while Volodymyr Zelensky has “no plan, except to hang on,” the interviewee observed. Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in early June, trying to break through the defense lines of the Russian armed forces in the Donetsk and Zaporozhye regions. Their attempts have been unsuccessful and resulted in heavy losses in armored equipment and manpower of Kiev’s forces, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Read more …

They all like this as opaque as can be.

Ukrainian Corruption Threatens US Assistance (RT)

The US is struggling to keep track of billions of dollars it has sent to Kiev since February 2022, the effectiveness of which may be reduced by government and private corruption in Ukraine. This was the most recent finding of the US State Department’s Office of the Inspector General. The redacted version of the State Department OIG report, published this week, notes that “corruption in the Ukrainian government and private sector poses risks to the effectiveness of US foreign assistance over the longer run.” Concerns about corruption are well-documented, the OIG adds, and the State Department “intends to develop a plan to address anti-corruption in connection with assistance to Ukraine, including for reconstruction.”

According to the report, the US Congress has appropriated more than $113.4 billion for Ukraine since the hostilities with Russia escalated last year. The State Department has been responsible for about $31 billion, of which $22.9 billion was marked “direct budget support” for the Ukrainian government. The OIG review focused on just these funds, administered by the Office of the Coordinator of US Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (EUR/ACE), and not the tens of billions in military aid that went through the Pentagon. Among the report’s revelations was that “all foreign assistance” to Ukraine is ultimately channeled through the Assistance Coordinator (ACOORD) team at the US embassy in Kiev, which apparently consists of just two people – described as a “Senior Foreign Service officer and a locally employed staff member.”

The embassy’s Integrated Country Strategy (ICS) was last updated in 2018. To make up for it, the EUR/ACE has drafted several planning documents approved by the National Security Council. However, each of them “lacked some or all” of the elements required by internal rules, including goals and objectives “with clear desired results and associated performance indicators.” The documents also “did not set forth an overarching strategy for Ukraine or assign responsibility for achieving goals.” The limited number of embassy staff and Ukraine’s travel restrictions have created “significant challenges in monitoring programs,” the OIG said. Most of the monitoring is done remotely, using online protocols adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

One office has created a smartphone app to do photo verification of equipment deliveries. Another contracted with an American NGO to “monitor and verify demining operations.” The OIG inspectors “largely conducted the review remotely” between mid-October 2022 and early March 2023. President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly pledged to support the government in Kiev “for as long as it takes” to win the “war” against Russia. Earlier this month, the White House opposed a proposal by congressional Republicans to set up an independent special inspector for Ukraine aid, arguing that the Pentagon inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) were already working to “ensure accountability.”

Read more …

Fits the EU.

The Western Elite Just Gave Itself A ‘World Peace And Liberty’ Award (Marsden)

Get a load of who won – and presented – a new honor that’s modestly being compared to the Nobel Peace Prize. If you haven’t heard of the World Law Foundation non-profit organization, you could be forgiven. But despite only existing since 2019, it has already created an award described by the Western press as nothing less than the “judicial equivalent” of the world’s top award for promoting peace. Wonder where they got that idea, if not from the organization itself. Can anyone just create a think tank and put it in charge of an award branded as the latest version of the Nobel Peace Prize? Good luck with that – unless, of course, your board is loaded up with establishment heavyweights – in which case, people just tell themselves that it must be legit since all these VIPs wouldn’t otherwise be involved.

So a few days ago, the humble folks of the World Law Foundation gathered at the United Nations in New York for the World Law Congress. One of the big items on the agenda was to hand out this year’s World Peace and Liberty Award to none other than European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, unelected de facto Queen of Europe, who accepted it on behalf of the commission. Wow, didn’t see that one coming. Particularly with a former EU commissioner being the vice president of the group’s board, which also includes former Polish and French prime ministers, former Slovenian and Latvian presidents, a former EU vice president, and various Western establishment corporate figures, academics, and jurists.

You’d think that the same Von der Leyen-led EU Commission would have been a controversial candidate for a peace award given that it’s constantly sided with Washington’s military interventionism or at least have done little to nothing to stop it, and even led the way in the case of Libyan regime change. Most recently, the EU had a chance to stop the conflict in Ukraine before it even started by demanding Kiev’s adherence to the Minsk agreements and rejecting the West’s arming and training of anti-Russian fighters on the border with Russia.

“For the first time ever, the European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack,” von der Leyen said last year, calling it “a watershed moment.” Know what else is a watershed moment? Giving a peace award to someone whose knee-jerk reaction to armed conflict was to flood the zone with even more weapons. Then again, maybe the Nobel Peace Prize is indeed the right comparison, given that it was prematurely awarded to former US President Barack Obama even before he could order more bombing in Africa and the Middle East.

[..] These World Peace and Liberty folks were apparently like, “Who could we get to present this that embodies freedom and peace? Hey, how about that dude in Canada who did the Freedom Convoy crackdown and whose country helped train the Azov neo-Nazis to wage war against Russia then tried to hide it from the press to avoid embarrassment?” Enter Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Nothing says freedom like invoking a martial law-style crackdown over a bunch of honking truckers protesting against the two-tier society fostered by Trudeau’s authoritarian Covid mandates – and then blocking their bank accounts as a dissuasion technique. “Brexit left many wondering if the union would continue to hold strong. Euroskepticism was on the rise. And protectionism and authoritarianism were becoming more prevalent,” Trudeau said, presumably as a newly-minted authority on authoritarianism, having just recently dabbled in it himself.

Read more …

“Archer has already received threats prior to the scheduled testimony.” Which is Monday, not today.

Will Collapse of Hunter Biden Plea Deal End Up in Joe’s Impeachment? (Sp.)

The collapse of first son Hunter Biden’s plea deal could have various implications, including the possibility of an impeachment inquiry, according to some US legal observers. Hunter Biden’s plea agreement hearing on Wednesday went not quite as well as the US president’s son apparently expected: Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected the deal and he wound up submitting a not guilty plea. At the root of Noreika’s bewilderment was the fact that the Justice Department agreed to grant Hunter immunity even though its investigation into the commander-in-chief’s son remained ongoing, according to US conservative media. In other words, the DoJ appeared to be ready to forgive Hunter’s other sins – not just the latest tax and gun-related charges. “Is this even constitutional?” Noreika asked, ordering those involved in the deal to file briefs explaining its structure.

Commenting on the abrupt collapse of the much-discussed plea deal, renowned legal scholar Jonathan Turley suggested it could have political implications for Joe Biden’s 2024 election bid. “This deal was, in my view, almost laughable,” Turley told a US broadcaster on Wednesday. The IRS whistleblowers just a week ago told Congress that there was an opportunity for the Department of Justice to extend the statute of limitations on the 2014 and 2015 tax matters. “That’s the Burisma issue, those are Ukraine questions,” said Turley. “And, according to the whistleblowers, the Department of Justice had that opportunity and let them expire. Why?” The legal expert anticipates these questions could be raised more frequently, and that they may expose any other potential crimes committed by Hunter Biden.

In fact, chief among them would be suspected violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Earlier, Turley wrote on his blog that the DoJ somehow overlooked Hunter acting as a de facto unregistered foreign agent, an offense Trump-era associate Paul Manafort was promptly accused of. It’s believed Hunter Biden likely violated FARA rules while striking business deals with foreign entities, including in China, Romania and Ukraine during and after his father’s vice presidency. Meanwhile, Devon Archer, Hunter’s longtime former business partner, is due to give a closed-door testimony on Monday before congressional lawmakers. It’s speculated Archer may spill the beans on Joe Biden’s involvement with his son’s business deals prior to assuming the presidency. Reportedly, Archer has already received threats prior to the scheduled testimony.

Read more …

The probe is closed, but we can’t give you the docs, because the probe is ongoing.

Hunter Biden’s Judge Raised The One Question The White House Most Fears (FP)

Watch as Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley reveals why Democrats are now panicking over Hunter Biden, and the question of whether he is, or is not, a foreign agent. “I think part of the problem is they really did want to cap out the case.” “The Department of Justice wanted to cap this investigation. But they didn’t want to say that it was now over.” “From the very beginning, the Hunter Biden team said this is a close-out plea agreement. There would be nothing left to investigate.” “But the Department of Justice is telling Congress we’re not going to give you these witnesses or these documents because there’s an ongoing investigation. “You can’t do both things when a judge is asking you to specifically address whether this is a close-out or a continuing investigation…”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1684435341451870209

“This is a big problem. This was all supposed to be scripted. It was all supposed to be easy. And now it is off script and it is anything but easy. “Because the judge just raised the one charge that the White House most fears which is the chance that Hunter was a foreign agent. And if he was a foreign agent, the question is foreign agent for who and for what purpose?” “The president was that purpose. If you’re influence peddling, it’s influence over the president. So if you go for FARA, it’s going to bring all of this stuff in.” “Including some of these tax accounts for 2014 and 15 that the Department of Justice allowed to run, allowed the statute of limitations to expire.” “All of that can get boot strapped into a FARA issue. The whole purpose of this deal is collapsing as we’re watching it. And it’s taken Washington by utter surprise. I was on the Hill talking with members and everyone was floored.”

Read more …

FARA.

Hunter’s Court Transcript Debunks Major Biden Lies Central To Bribery Scheme (TP)

Chris Clark, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, made several admissions in court that effectively debunked major lies that Joe Biden told the public about his family’s income from foreign countries according to Breitbart News. In 2020, Joe Biden publicly asserted on a debate stage with President Donald Trump that “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China…The only guy who made money from China is this guy [Donald Trump]. He’s the only one. Nobody else has made money from China.” This comment has now come back to haunt Joe Biden as Clark informed the court that Hunter Biden made over $1 millions in overseas business transactions and with $664,000 alone coming from CEFC, a company linked to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s intelligence agency.

The court transcript reveals that Biden’s lawyer said, “During calendar year 2017, Biden earned substantial income, including: just under $1 million from a company he formed with the CEO of a Chinese business conglomerate [BHR Partners]; $666,666 from his domestic business interests; approximately $664,000 from a Chinese infrastructure investment company [CEFC].” The topic of Hunter Biden’s money from Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy business, also came up in court. Mr. Clark told the court that “From 2017 to 12 2019, he [Hunter] served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company and a Chinese private equity fund. He further negotiated and executed contracts for business and legal services that paid millions of dollars of compensation to him and/or his domestic corporations, Owasco, PC and Owasco, LLC. Through at least early 2017, he also was employed by a prestigious multi-national law firm in an ‘of counsel’ capacity. For this work, he earned substantial income, totaling more than $2.3 million in 2017 and $2.1 million in 2018.”

Biden’s income from Burisma Holdings is of particular interest as this is the entity that allegedly bribed Joe Biden when he was Vice President to shut down investigations into the company by Ukrainian prosecutors in exchange for a $10 million bribe. $5 million went to Joe Biden and the other $5 million went to Hunter Biden. So far no admission has been by Hunter Biden about this item. Mr. Clark also acknowledged other foreign revenue streams for Hunter Biden such as Romania. The Biden family is under congressional investigation for acting as a conduit for Joe Biden’s alleged influence-peddling schemes. With the unearthing of an FBI memo detailing allegations of bribery by the aforementioned Ukrainian energy company, calls to impeach the president have become more vocal and have gained greater credence. Even Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) commented that he would be looking into it.

Read more …

The cleaning lady?

New Charges Added to Trump Mar-a-Lago Case, Third Defendant Named (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump and two others are facing new charges as part of US special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the mishandling of classified documents at the former president’s Florida residence. A superseding indictment attached to the ongoing case added four charges to an earlier complaint and named Carlos De Oliveira, who reportedly serves as the head of maintenance at Mar-a-Lago, as a third defendant. Both Trump and aide Walt Nauta were hit with two new obstruction charges over efforts to allegedly erase surveillance footage from the summer of 2022 captured at Trump’s Florida home. De Oliveria was slapped with false statements and representations over an interview with federal agents in January 2023. A summons for De Oliveria requires him to appear before a federal court on July 31.


The new defendant allegedly helped Nauta move 30 boxes with classified documents around Mar-a-Lago following the Justice Department’s first subpoena against Trump in May, US media reported. Trump was indicted in June on 37 charges related to the mishandling of classified documents, including those the FBI uncovered in a raid of his Florida home. The former president pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has condemned the offenses as a politically-driven attack intended to shutter his 2024 election bid. According to the indictment, the classified documents Trump stored in boxes at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida included information about defense and weapons capabilities of both the US and foreign countries, US nuclear programs, potential vulnerabilities of the US and its allies to military attack, and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.

Read more …

Meanwhile, Putin is building.

The Russia-Global South Connection: Africa as Strategic Partner (Pepe Escobar)

The Russian-African Conference of the Valdai Club functioned like a sort of final expert watch synchronization in the run-up to St. Petersburg. The first session was particularly relevant. That came after the publication of a comprehensive analysis by President Putin of Russia-Africa relations, with a special emphasis on the recently collapsed grain deal involving the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Russian Federation Council, has stressed how “Ukraine, Washington and NATO were interested in the grain corridor for sabotage”. In his Op-Ed, Putin explained how, “for almost a year, a total of 32.8 million tons of cargo were exported from Ukraine under the ‘deal’, of which more than 70% went to high-and above-middle-income countries, including the European Union, while countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, as well as Yemen and Afghanistan accounted for less than 3% of the total volume – less than one million tons.”

So that was one of the key reasons for Russia to leave the grain deal. Moscow published a list of requirements which would need to be fulfilled for Russia to reinstate it. Among them: a real, practical end to sanctions on Russian grain and fertilizers shipped to world markets; no more obstacles for banks and financial institutions; no more restrictions on charter of ships and insurance – that means clean logistics for all food supplies; restoration of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline. And a particularly crucial item: the restoration of “the original humanitarian nature of the grain deal.” There’s no way the collective West subjected to the Straussian neocon psychos who control US foreign policy will fulfill all or even some of these conditions. So Russia, by itself, will offer grain and fertilizers free of charge for the poorest nations and contracts for grain supply at normal commercial terms for the others. Supply is guaranteed: Moscow had the biggest grain harvest ever during this season.

This is all about solidarity. At the Valdai session, a key discussion was around the importance of solidarity in the struggle against neo-colonialism and for global equality and justice. Oleg Ozerov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, stressed how European “former” partners persist on the one-way track of shifting blame to Russia as Africa is “acquiring agency” and “denying neo-colonialism.” Ozerov mentioned how “France-Afrique is collapsing – and Russia is not behind it. Russia is ensuring that Africa acts as one of the powers of the multipolar world”, as “a member of the G20 and present in the UN Security Council.” Moreover, Moscow is interested to expand Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) free trade deals towards Africa.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ice Cube race
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684545169301856256

 

 

 

 

Kings

 

 

All kinds
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684270012117180431

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 202023
 
 June 20, 2023  Posted by at 5:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – The Consummation of Empire 1836

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Putin’s Three Latest Appearances

President Putin strongly suggested in a series of appearances last week that a political solution to the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine is still possible. Those of his supporters in the Alt-Media Community who convinced themselves that the special operation won’t stop until Russian forces reach the Polish border are bound to be infuriated by this assessment, but it’s based on his own words as proven by the official Kremlin website. Here are the three appearances that will be cited in this analysis:

* 13 June: “Meeting with war correspondents

* 16 June: “Plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* 17 June: “Meeting with heads of delegations of African states

What follows are relevant excerpts from each appearance along with a one-sentence summary of the point that he conveyed in each passage. After going through all three of them, the next subchapter will summarize President Putin’s envisaged end game to this proxy war. Finally, the last part of this analysis will then conclude with a few thoughts about the viability of his plans, which are arguably quite reasonable if one takes the time to calmly dwell upon them.

Meeting With War Correspondents

* Russia still intends to achieve its original objectives in the special operation.

– “[The goals and tasks of the special military operation] are changing in accordance with the current situation but of course overall we are not changing anything. Our goals are fundamental for us.”

* The demilitarization of Ukraine remains on track.

– “We are dealing with this gradually, methodically…The Ukrainian defence industry will soon cease to exist altogether. What do they produce? Ammunition is delivered, equipment is delivered and weapons are delivered – everything is delivered. You won’t live long like that, you won’t last. So, the issue of demilitarisation is raised in very practical terms.”

* Kiev’s counteroffensive is failing.

– “If we look at irretrievable losses, clearly, the defending side suffers fewer losses, but this ratio of 1 to 10 is in our favour. Our losses are one-tenth of the losses of the Ukrainian forces. The situation is even more serious with armour…By my calculations, these losses are about 25 or maybe 30 percent of the equipment supplied from abroad.”

* Attacks against Russia’s pre-2014 territory are designed to divert its forces from the frontlines.

– “As for border areas, there is a problem, and it is connected – and I think you understand this too – mainly with a desire to divert our forces and resources to this side, to withdraw part of the units from those areas that are considered the most important and critical from the point of view of possible offensive by the armed forces of Ukraine.”

* The creation of buffer zones to protect Russia’s pre-2014 territory is being considered.

– “If this continues, then we will apparently have to consider the issue – and I say this very carefully – in order to create some kind of buffer zone on the territory of Ukraine at such a distance from which it would be impossible to reach our territory. But this is a separate issue, I am not saying that we will start this work tomorrow. We have to see how the situation develops.”

* The now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine helped Russia solidify its eastern and southern gains.

– “Even though they tossed it, nevertheless, we used this time to get where we are now which is practically all of Novorossiya and a significant portion of the Donetsk People’s Republic with access to the Sea of ​​Azov and Mariupol. And almost all of the Lugansk People’s Republic, with a few exceptions.”

* Russia might mobilize if it decides to move on Kiev again, but there’s no need for that today.

– “Do we need to go back [to Kiev] or not? Why am I asking this rhetorical question? Clearly, you do not have an answer to it, only I can answer that. But depending on our goals, we must decide on mobilisation, but there is no need for that today.”

* One of the fundamental factors of this conflict is that the West is flooding Ukraine with arms.

– “You know, this is a fundamental question, absolutely fundamental. When we say – I said it, and you repeated it – that the West is flooding Ukraine with weapons, this is a fact, nobody is hiding this; on the contrary, they are proud of it.”

* Russia’s military-technical production surged over the past year.

– “During the year, we increased the production of our main weapons by 2.7 times. As for the manufacture of the most in-demand weapons, we increased this by ten times. Ten times!”

* Not every one of Russia’s responses to the crossing of its “red lines” is covered by the media.

– “Not everything may be covered by the media, although there is nothing to be ashamed of. Are strikes on Ukraine’s energy system not an answer to them crossing the red lines? And the destruction of the headquarters of the main intelligence directorate of the armed forces of Ukraine outside Kiev, almost within Kiev’s city limits, is it not the answer? It is.”

* The Ukrainian state exists and must be treated with respect, but it’s unacceptable to threaten Russia.

– “With regard to ‘what Ukraine are they talking about,’ Ukraine, such as it may be, does exist and we must treat it with respect…If they want to live in our historical territories, then they should influence their political leadership so that it establishes proper relations with Russia and no one poses a threat to us from these territories. This is the issue. This is what the issue is all about.”

* It’s debatable that the West will continue supplying weapons to Ukraine no matter its losses.

– “This is debatable (which was said in response to a war correspondent’s claim that ‘Clearly, no matter what losses Ukraine suffers, the Western countries will continue to supply weapons to it’).”

* There’s no guarantee that Russia will go on the offensive after the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive.

– “I think that, being aware – I say this with good reason – of the catastrophic losses, the leadership, whatever it may be it has a head on its shoulders, should think about what to do next. We will wait and see what the situation is like and take further steps based on this understanding.”

* Depleted uranium shells are being shipped to Ukraine because the West already ran out of all others.

– “They simply have no shells, but they have depleted-uranium shells in warehouses. It appears that they have now decided to use these shells for the time being. They have swept the warehouses clean”.

* The EU’s snowballing economic problems will impede its plans to produce more arms for Ukraine.

– “The (EU’s) economic problems are snowballing…So, it is not so easy to produce everything there, and even more difficult to expand production and build new facilities. This will come in handy for us, because Russia has a special situation. We must build up our armaments; we will have to, and we will accumulate strategic reserves in warehouses.”

* American mission creep is creating very serious risks for Russia.

– “The United States is getting more and more involved in this conflict, almost directly involved, provoking serious international security crises. Correcting the movements of drones that are attacking our warships is a very serious risk. This is very serious, and they should know that we know about it. We will think about what to do with this in the future. In general, this is how it is.”

* Peace talks could resume and the Istanbul draft treaty be revived if the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply.

– “We have never refused – as I said a thousand times – to participate in any talks that may lead to a peace settlement…Ultimately it is about the United States’ interests. We know that they hold the key to solving issues. If they genuinely want to end today’s conflict via negotiations, they only need to make one decision which is to stop supplying weapons and equipment. That’s it. Ukraine itself does not manufacture anything. Tomorrow, they will want to hold talks that are not formal, but substantive, and not to confront us with ultimatums, but to return to what was agreed upon, say, in Istanbul.”

* Many Americans are afraid of their country starting World War III since they know it won’t win.

– “[The US] pretend(s) not to be [afraid to endlessly escalate the situation and raise the stakes]. In fact, there are many people there who think clearly and are unwilling to lead the world into a third world war in which there will be no winners; even the United States will not come out of it as a winner.”

Plenary Session Of The St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* President Putin repeated Russia’s military-technical statistics from his last appearance.

– “Our defence industry is gaining momentum every day. We have increased military production by 2.7 times during the last year. Our production of the most critical weapons has gone up ten times and keeps increasing.

* Basing Ukraine’s NATO-supplied F-16s outside that country would pose a serious danger for Russia.

– “The F-16s will be burning too (if they’re sent to Ukraine), no doubt about it. But if they are located at air bases outside Ukraine and are used in hostilities, we will have to think about how and where we can hit the resources that are used against us in the hostilities. There is a serious danger of NATO’s further involvement in this armed conflict.”

* The door to diplomacy remains open if the West decides to resume talks with Russia.

– “We never closed [the door to diplomacy]. They were the ones who decided to close it, yet they keep peeking through the crack at us”.

* Attacks inside Russia are designed to provoke an overwhelming response.

“Knowing that there is little chance of success (on the frontline), they are provoking us (through the Belgorod and Kremlin attacks) into making a harsh response, hoping to point the finger at us and say, ‘Look at them; they are malicious and cruel; nobody should have any dealings with them.’ They want to say this to all the partners we are working with now. So, no, there is no need to take such actions.”

* Nevertheless, a buffer zone is still in the cards, though Russia won’t let this distract it from the front.

– “As for these adjacent territories, it is an attempt to distract our attention from the possible key areas of the main offensive they are considering, an attempt to force us to redeploy units we have amassed in other areas of combat, and so on…I have already said that if these attacks on our adjacent territories continue, we will consider the possibility of creating a buffer zone in the Ukrainian territory. They should know what this can lead to. We use long-range high-precision weapons against military targets, and we are succeeding in all these areas.”

* Russia isn’t contemplating a nuclear first strike and will only use these weapons in self-defense.

– “I have already said that the use of the ultimate deterrent is only possible in case of a threat to the Russian state. In this case, we will certainly use all the forces and means at the disposal of the Russian state. There is no doubt about that.”

Meeting With Heads Of Delegations Of African States

* Russia will still talk with Ukraine despite the possibility that it might withdraw from other agreements.

– “Russia has never rejected any talks…Turkiye hosted a whole series of talks between Russia and Ukraine to work out confidence-building measures, which you have just mentioned, and draft the text of the treaty…But after we withdrew our forces from Kiev, as we had promised, the Kiev authorities, just like their masters usually do, dumped it into the dustbin of history, let’s put it mildly, I will try to avoid any foul expressions. They rejected this. Where are the guarantees that they will not withdraw from other agreements? But even amidst such circumstances, we never refused to hold talks.”

Putin’s Envisaged End Game

The preceding subchapters highlighted the most relevant excerpts from President Putin’s latest media appearances with respect to his envisaged end game. At present, he’s clearly reluctant to escalate the conflict through a second round of mobilization, which he said could precede another march on Kiev. That’s not needed for the time being, however, since the first one already served its military purpose of solidifying Russia’s gains in the east and south even if its political one of reaching a peace deal failed.

The demilitarization of Ukraine remains one of President Putin’s most important objectives, which he said is proceeding as proven by the destruction of its military-industrial complex. Although the enemy continues attacking Russia’s pre-2014 borders, he believes that this is aimed at diverting his country’s forces from the front, which is why he’s hesitant to carve out a buffer zone there right now even though it remains in the cards and could possibly be achieved with only missiles instead of dispatching troops.

The NATO-Russian “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” that Secretary-General Stoltenberg finally acknowledged in mid-February is trending in Moscow’s favor as evidenced by its military-industrial output spiking between 2.7-10 times depending on the particular product. The West is already running very low on supplies to Ukraine and that’s why it’s now resorting to the dispatch of depleted uranium, President Putin noted, since it literally doesn’t have any other shells left.

He believes that these abovementioned military-strategic dynamics could combine with the EU’s “snowballing” economic problems to make it impossible for NATO to defeat Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition”. In that event, peace talks might resume upon the end of Kiev’s NATObacked counteroffensive, during which time the now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine could be revived as the basis for facilitating a speedy resolution to this conflict.

The abovementioned scenario is only possible if the US cuts off its arms supply to Ukraine, which House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul said is possible if the counteroffensive fails since Congress might then be unable to pass a supplemental spending package for sustaining this aid. Nevertheless, the US’ mission creep could lead to an incident with Russia in the air, at sea, and/or concerning the basing of Ukraine’s promised F-16s in a NATO country before that happens.

This might even be deliberate if its liberalglobalist elite became desperate enough to escalate the conflict if they thought that doing so might coerce Russia into abandoning its newly unified regions and thus helping them “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal. Should a 1962-like nuclear standoff emerge as a result of a US-initiated provocation, President Putin would likely regard it as a bluff but would still only use nukes in self-defense instead of a first strike like an influential expert suggested.

He obviously doesn’t want it to get to that point, but it’s America’s prerogative whether it does or not. Russia is more than capable of staying in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” if the US refuses for whatever reason to cut off Kiev’s arms supply after the end of its failed counteroffensive, but the latter is unlikely to be able to rely on the EU much any longer since it’s already mostly run through all its stockpiles. This fact raises the chances of a meaningful de-escalation unless warmongers intervene.

Concluding Thoughts

President Putin believes that the odds favor at least freezing the Line of Contact (LOC) through a ceasefire, if not outright ending the conflict by reviving last year’s now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine, albeit with amendments reflecting the new ground reality of Kiev having lost four more regions. There’s even the chance that a creative diplomatic-legal solution can be found for making the LOC the new international border without violating the Russian Constitution’s prohibition on ceding territory.

Speculation about the devilish details of a peace treaty aside, the point is that these discussions could begin taking place literally the day after the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply should it tacitly cede victory to Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” after the counteroffensive ends. Its ruling liberal-globalist elite might instead escalate out of desperation to coerce sensitive concessions from Russia in order to “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal, however, which could lead to a standoff.

In any case, President Putin doesn’t presently have any plans to escalate Russia’s involvement in the conflict as proven by him ruling out a second round of mobilization, remaining reluctant to carve out a buffer zone, and refusing to publicize every response to the crossing of his country’s “red lines”. Right now, he’s wagering that Kiev’s failed counteroffensive, the EU’s economic troubles, and NATO’s depleted stockpiles will combine to revive last year’s now-defunct draft treaty, which is actually quite reasonable.

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

Jun 182023
 


John Singer Sargent Open Doorway, Morocco 1879-80

 

Ukrainian Counteroffensive’s Second Week Ends in Failure (Scott Ritter)
Ukraine Demilitarization Mainly Completed – Peskov (Sp.)
Biden Lays Down NATO warning For Ukraine (RT)
Partners in Doomsday (Seymour Hersh)
Putin: Kiev Threw Russia-Ukraine Settlement Deal Into Dustbin of History (Sp.)
South African President’s Security Detail Prevented From Going To Russia (RT)
African Nations Call For Indivisibility Of Global Security (TASS)
UAE President Meets With Putin In Russia (Cradle)
Ukraine Ready To Pay West In People’s Organs For Military Aid – Moscow (TASS)
West Pressured Countries To Skip SPIEF – Moscow (RT)
Rosneft’s Sechin: ‘Inflated US Debt Looms Over Asia-Pacific’ (Sp.)
De-Dollarization: Asian Central Banks To Adopt Iran’s SWIFT Alternative (ZH)
ECB Warns EU Against Skimming Profits From Stolen Russian Money (RT)
There Was No Pandemic (Schachtel)
Call the Exorcists! (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

“Trump Saved The USA”

 

 

 

 

Watters Gates
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669874281948348425

 

 

 

 

Day 1

 

 

 

 

Agenda 21

 

 

Pfizer Japan

 

 

REPORTER: “Donald Trump was indicted on 38 charges. He is facing up to 400 years. What does Moscow think about this?”

ZAKHAROVA: “There is nothing surprising about this. This is democracy in a liberal dictatorship style… As for 400 years, apparently they are afraid of him because they consider him immortal. The only thing I can tell you is that we will see more and more wonders and mystifications for one simple reason – liberalism has sunk into one of its deepest crises…”

 

 

 

 

“Ukrainian casualties were extremely heavy, with Russia achieving a 10:1 kill ratio in terms of manpower..”

Ukrainian Counteroffensive’s Second Week Ends in Failure (Scott Ritter)

Operation enters the second week of Ukraine’s long-awaited and highly touted counteroffensive, some basic conclusions can be drawn even though the fighting continues, and will continue to rage, for some time to come. First and foremost, the counteroffensive gambit has failed. While there is still considerable combat strength left in the Ukrainian military, including more than 75% of the NATO-trained and -equipped 60,000-strong cohort Ukraine had assembled in the past eight months, fundamentally flawed assumptions about the quality of the force on which Ukraine and its NATO allies had placed their collective hopes for victory over Russia have been exposed. In short, Ukraine lacks the military capacity to overcome Russian defenses.

Ukraine’s most elite assault brigades, equipped with the latest Western military technology, failed to advance out of what Russian defensive doctrine calls the “cover” line of defense—the buffer that is designed to channel and disrupt an attacking force prior to reaching the “main” line of defense. Ukrainian casualties were extremely heavy, with Russia achieving a 10:1 kill ratio in terms of manpower, which is unsustainable from the Ukrainian perspective. The reasons for the Ukrainian failure are fundamental in nature, meaning that they cannot be overcome as things currently stand and, as such, the Ukrainian military has zero chance of success, no matter how hard they press subsequent attacks.

First and foremost is the quality of the Russian defenses, especially in terms of the barrier network (minefields, obstacles, and trenches) which, when combined with the tenacity of the Russian defender and the overwhelming superiority Russia enjoys in terms of fire support (both artillery and air-delivered), is the reason the Ukrainians are unable to advance beyond the “cover” layer of the Russian defenses. Ukrainian equipment and tactics are insufficient to the task of breaching the Russian obstacle barriers in any meaningful manner, dooming the attacking forces to be destroyed piecemeal by Russian artillery and air strikes, as well as local counterattacks mounted by Russian special forces.

Besides the poor tactics and equipment deficiencies (yes, the Leopard tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles were not the miracle weapons Ukraine and its Western supporters had hyped them up to be), the Ukrainians are paying the price for Russia’s impressive suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) campaign that has been ongoing for many weeks now. Russia has not only neutralized Ukraine’s ability to defend strategic targets far beyond the front lines, but also to project any meaningful air defense capability into the actual zone of conflict. This, combined with the lack of any viable air force, leaves the attacking Ukrainian ground forces exposed to the full weight of Russian air power.

Read more …

No weapons of their own left.

Ukraine Demilitarization Mainly Completed – Peskov (Sp.)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday that Ukraine’s demilitarization had been mainly completed as Kiev was using its own weapons much less and deploying more weapons supplied by the West. “Ukraine was very militarized at the start of the special military operation. And, as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin said yesterday, one of the tasks was the demilitarization of Ukraine. In fact, this task has been mainly completed because Ukraine is using much less of its own arms, while it is deploying more weapons systems supplied by the West,” Peskov told Russian broadcaster RT Arabic.


On the subject of peace negotiations, Peskov said on Saturday that there are provisions of different Ukraine peace initiatives that do not correlate with the Russian stance and are unacceptable, but Moscow is ready for a dialogue with Kiev. “Those provisions of different peace initiatives, which do not correlate with our stance, are certainly unacceptable for us, but we are open to dialogue unlike the Ukrainian side,” Peskov told Russian newspaper Izvestia. On Friday during a visit from several African leaders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated that his country would not discuss an end to the conflict until Russian troops withdrawal from what he claims are Ukraine’s borders.

Read more …

“They’ve got to meet the same standards. So we’re not going to make it easy..”

Biden Lays Down NATO warning For Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine will not have an “easy” entry into the US-led NATO alliance and will be required to meet the “same standards” as any other member of the bloc, US President Joe Biden has declared. His remarks come amid reports of a simplified procedural plan for Kiev, tabled by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “They’ve got to meet the same standards. So we’re not going to make it easy,” Biden told reporters near Washington on Saturday. His statement comes in the aftermath of a meeting he had with Stoltenberg, who was hosted at the White House this Tuesday. At the meeting, the NATO chief reportedly floated a plan to simplify the accession process for Ukraine, arguing that Kiev had already made significant progress toward membership.

Under his scheme, the country would not have been required to complete a so-called “membership action plan” (MAP), usually imposed by the US-led bloc on applicants. While other Eastern European members of the bloc went through this procedure before being admitted, the most recent addition, Finland, was spared the process. Multiple US media reports had suggested Biden appeared to be “open” to the plan and had even provisionally supported it. At the same time, other reporting on the subject suggested Biden had another scheme for Ukraine in mind.

For instance, the New York Times reported the US administration was reluctant to ever grant Ukraine full NATO membership, pushing instead for the ‘Israel model,’ which would mean a time-limited commitment to maintain the flow of Western weapons to a designated country. Joining NATO has been a top talking point for pro-Western Ukrainian politicians for decades already, yet little to no progress has actually been made on that path. The pace has seemingly picked up amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev – triggered, among other things, by Ukraine’s NATO aspirations – with top Ukrainian officials repeatedly urging the US-led alliance to let the country in.

Read more …

“..At that time, even “in a fit of desperate rage,” “the ruling circles of a group of countries” would never have “unleashed a full-scale war in the underbelly of a nuclear superpower.”

Partners in Doomsday (Seymour Hersh)

Meanwhile, there has been an escalation in rhetoric about the war and its possible consequences from within Russia. It can be observed in an essay published in Russian and English on June 13 by Sergei A. Karaganov, an academic in Moscow who is chairman of the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. Karaganov is known to be close to Putin; he is taken seriously by some journalists in the West, most notably by Serge Schmemann, a longtime Moscow correspondent for the New York Times and now a member of the Times editorial board. Like me, he spent his early years as a journalist for the Associated Press. One of Karaganov’s main points is that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine will not end even if Russia were to achieve a crushing victory.

There will remain, he writes, “an even more embittered ultranationalist population pumped up with weapons—a bleeding wound threatening inevitable complications and a new war.” The essay is suffused with despair. A Russian victory in Ukraine means a continued war with the West. “The worst situation,” he writes, “may occur if, at the cost of enormous losses, we liberate the whole of Ukraine and it remains in ruins with a population that mostly hates us. . . . The feud with the West will continue as it will support a low-grade guerrilla war.” A more attractive option would be to liberate the pro-Russian areas of Ukraine followed by demilitarization of Ukraine’s armed forces. But that would be possible, Karaganov writes, “only if and when we are able to break the West’s will to incite and support the Kiev junta, and to force it to retreat strategically.

“And this brings us to the most important but almost undiscussed issue. The underlying and even fundamental cause of the conflict in Ukraine and many other tensions in the world . . . is the accelerating failure of the modern ruling Western elites” to recognize and deal with the “globalization course of recent decades.” These changes, which Karaganov calls “unprecedented in history,” are key elements in the global balance of power that now favor “China and partly India acting as economic drivers, and Russia chosen by history to be its military strategic pillar.” The countries of the West, under leaders such as Biden and his aides, he writes, “are losing their five-century-long ability to siphon wealth around the world, imposing, primarily by brute force, political and economic orders and cultural dominance. So there will be no quick end to the unfolding Western defensive and aggressive confrontation.”

This shakeup of the world order, he writes, “has been brewing since the mid-1960s. . . . The defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the beginning of the Western economic model crisis in 2008 were major milestones.” All of this points toward large-scale disaster: “Truce is possible, but peace is not. . . . This vector of the West’s movement unambiguously indicates a slide toward World War III. It is already beginning and may erupt into a full-blown firestorm by chance or due to the incompetence and irresponsibility of modern ruling circles in the West.”

In Karaganov’s view—I am in no way condoning or agreeing with it—the American-led war against Russia in Ukraine, with the support of NATO, has become more feasible, even ineluctable, because the fear of nuclear war is gone. What is happening today in Ukraine, he argues, would be “unthinkable” in the early years of the nuclear era. At that time, even “in a fit of desperate rage,” “the ruling circles of a group of countries” would never have “unleashed a full-scale war in the underbelly of a nuclear superpower.”

Read more …

“There was an agreement made in 2022. Which is why Russia removed their troops from the Kiev area. Ukraine, pressured by the US/UK – reneged on the agreement. Think of how many Ukrainians died because of that decision.”

Putin: Kiev Threw Russia-Ukraine Settlement Deal Into Dustbin of History (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the African delegation with the draft of the Istanbul agreement on the Ukraine settlement, which, as the Russian president said, specifies everything from the number of armed forces to units of military equipment and personnel. “Here it is! It exists!” Putin said, showing the document signed by a Ukrainian representative. “And it is called accordingly – the treaty on permanent neutrality and security guarantees for Ukraine. Exactly about guarantees. Eighteen articles,” the Russian leader noted. “Moreover, there is also an annex to it. They [clauses] also concern the armed forces, other things. Everything is specified – down to the units of combat equipment and personnel of the armed forces. The document is here!” Putin said, adding that the document had been initialed and signed by the Ukrainian delegation.

“But after we withdrew the troops from Kiev, as we promised, the Kiev authorities, as their masters usually do, threw it all into the dustbin of history. Let’s put it clearly. I’ll try to put it intelligently. They gave it up,” he added. The president also addressed the root of the crisis, reminding his audience that the violence engulfed Ukraine after the bloody 2014 coup, which was backed by the US and the EU. “All the problems in Ukraine began after the state, unconstitutional, armed and bloody coup in 2014. And this coup was supported by Western sponsors. They, as a matter of fact, do not hesitate to talk about it,” he stressed. Earlier on Saturday, Putin personally received and greeted the African delegates at the Konstantinovsky Palace to discuss the joint African peace initiative on Ukraine.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed a ten-point plan for peaceful settlement. One of the points relates to the fact that all sides in the conflict are entitled to security guarantees. The fourth point refers to the fact that the authors of the plan recognize the sovereignty of all sides of the conflict. The sixth point refers to the “free movement of grain across the Black Sea” so that there would be no obstacles to it. “The third point is that we would like to see de-escalation of the conflict. De-escalation on both sides. Because escalation is not conducive to peace negotiations. So we would be interested in de-escalation of the conflict so that we can find a way to peace.”

Putin also underlined the issue of the grain deal, noting that about 31.7 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported from Ukrainian ports – while only 3% of this volume was sent to needy African countries, so the United States has “deceived the international community,” “Once again, these neo-colonial European, and in fact American, authorities have deceived the international community and needy African countries: 31.7 million tonnes were exported, and only three percent went to needy African countries. Isn’t that a lie? Accustomed to lying to the world for centuries and continue to do so today,” Putin said at a meeting with the African delegation at the Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg.

Read more …

The opposite of diplomacy. Hard to believe.

South African President’s Security Detail Prevented From Going To Russia (RT)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has had to travel to Russia without dozens of his bodyguards, after Polish authorities effectively blocked a planeload of security personnel and members of the press pool at Warsaw airport, with Hungary then refusing to let the plane enter its airspace. One of the journalists told RT on Saturday that Budapest’s decision would not affect President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to St. Petersburg. The head of state is already in Russia, having arrived separately with a smaller contingent. South African reporter Queenin Masuabi confirmed the situation in a Twitter post, saying: “our government have been unable to secure access [to] the Hungarian airspace.” She added that “members of the Presidential Protection Unit, along with journalists, will not be traveling to Russia.”

On Thursday, the Polish Border Security Service allegedly prohibited members of Ramaphosa’s security team, consisting of more than 100 personnel, along with 20 reporters, from leaving their plane at Chopin Airport in Warsaw. According to one of the journalists stranded on board, who spoke to RT, Polish officials had demanded that members of the South African Presidential Protection Services (PPS) surrender their weapons, claiming that they did not have the correct permits to bring them into the country. One member of the team was even reportedly strip-searched by Polish police despite holding a diplomatic passport. “That’s never happened before in all the years of travel by the PPS. This is now a diplomatic row,” the reporter told RT, describing the “hostile welcome” as completely unexpected.

Another journalist on the plane said Polish authorities allowed the delegation to leave the aircraft on Friday after a more than 24-hour wait. Ramaphosa’s head of security, Major General Wally Rhoode, accused Warsaw of attempting to sabotage Pretoria’s efforts to secure a truce between Ukraine and Russia. Polish authorities, in turn, insisted that Ramaphosa’s delegation chose not to disembark from the plane of their own accord. The Polish Foreign Ministry clarified that the flight had been delayed after discovering “dangerous materials” and “undeclared individuals” on board.

As a result, Ramaphosa had to travel to Kiev without members of his security detail on Friday. The South African head of state, along with senior officials from Senegal, Egypt, Zambia, South Africa, and the Comoros, met with President Vladimir Zelensky in the Ukrainian capital. They put forward a roadmap aimed at a cessation of hostilities between Kiev and Moscow, which the Ukrainian leadership treated without much enthusiasm. On Saturday, the African Peace Mission arrived in St. Petersburg for talks with President Vladimir Putin.

Read more …

“..African countries have shown an understanding of the root causes of the Ukraine crisis, “which was created by the West’s efforts..”

African Nations Call For Indivisibility Of Global Security (TASS)

African countries stand for the indivisibility of global security, and Russia backs this principled position, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with an African peace mission. “First of all, they (African countries – TASS) highlighted China’s well-known twelve points, which were presented a couple of months ago, and they highlighted those parts of that Chinese initiative that are close to them and that stipulate that there no double standards in the world, that all the principles of the UN Charter in their integrity and correlation are respected and implemented, that there are no unilateral sanctions, that there are no attempts to ensure someone’s security at the expense of others, that security is indivisible on a global scale. They are the principled attitudes that we share,” he said.


Lavrov also pointed out that African countries have shown an understanding of the root causes of the Ukraine crisis, “which was created by the West’s efforts”. “They have shown an understanding that this situation has to be resolved by grappling with those root causes, by working out specific real actions to eliminate the causes that are undermining and have been undermining fair security in Europe throughout many years,” the Russian foreign minister said. The African peace mission has brought together South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Comoros Azali Assoumani, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema, as well as Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Florent Ntsiba and Ruhakana Rugunda, special envoys of the presidents of the Republic of the Congo and Uganda respectively. On June 16, the mission visited Kiev, where they held talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. On June 17, the African delegation held a meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg, where they outlined their initiative.

Read more …

“..the UAE imported 75.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion in the past year after imports reached just 1.3 tonnes in 2021..”

UAE President Meets With Putin In Russia (Cradle)

The UAE’s President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MbZ), affirmed to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on 16 June that Abu Dhabi seeks to strengthen relations with Moscow. MbZ told Putin on the sidelines of a meeting in St. Petersberg: “I am pleased to be here today with you, your Excellency, and we wish to build on this relationship, and we put our trust in you to do so.” He added that the UAE will continue to support efforts toward facilitating a political solution via diplomacy in order to resolve the political dispute between Moscow and Kiev, and ensure political stability. Following the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the UAE did not take a stance against Moscow as desired by Washington, and has since attempted to mediate between the Russian and Ukrainian sides.

Abu Dhabi has previously facilitated prisoner exchanges between the two. According to a Reuters report, Putin thanked MbZ for his role in the prisoner exchanges, calling the UAE a “very good partner” to Moscow. Reuters reported on 25 May that the UAE has also become an integral facilitator for Russian gold sales since western sanctions over the war in Ukraine blocked Russia’s more traditional export routes. Russian customs records viewed by Reuters show the UAE imported 75.7 tonnes of Russian gold worth $4.3 billion in the past year after imports reached just 1.3 tonnes in 2021. Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, western financial institutions stopped brokering Russian gold sales; however, Russian gold producers found new markets in countries willing to fill the void.

A month prior, AP reported that Russian and UAE intelligence officers disclosed that the two nations are collaborating to combat US and UK intelligence agencies in response to an alleged US intelligence breach. Additionally, Russian nationals have become the largest buying group of real estate in Dubai since the war in Ukraine began, driving sales to a new record high.

Read more …

350,000 young dead bodies.

“After relevant surgical procedures, the bodies are burned and the relatives are told that the serviceman is just missing..”

Ukraine Ready To Pay West In People’s Organs For Military Aid – Moscow (TASS)

Ukraine is ready to trade the organs of its people for Western military assistance, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday. The diplomat said the Kiev regime is rapidly turning the country into a global hub of human organ trafficking. “The Kiev regime is ready to pay anything for the military assistance it gets. It’s now even come to the human organs of its citizens. A time will probably come when Ukraine will understand the true reason why its pretend US and European friends cared about it. But that won’t be soon enough. Still, better later than never,” she said.

“They literally took a knife to the country, but it will be too late to complain. The patient has already signed consent for surgery. The relevant international organizations, with an art worthy of a better cause, are ignoring these obvious and criminal phenomena,” Zakharova said. The diplomat said Western countries are the main beneficiaries of illicit transplantation practices in Ukraine. “The scenario has been rehearsed in Yugoslavia. All organs that were removed from the people, who were killed then, went to cater to the needs of Westerners,” she said. According to Zakharova, the business of illicit transplantation surgeries is thriving thanks to the high losses that Ukrainian forces suffer at the frontline.

“After relevant surgical procedures, the bodies are burned and the relatives are told that the serviceman is just missing. These dreadful machinations wouldn’t be possible without permission granted by the Kiev regime at the highest level. That’s because they are backed by legislation. The country has essentially become a honeypot for criminals. The money that illicit transplant operators are making in Ukraine is simply insane, and they aren’t going to stop,” the diplomat continued. Ukraine has done a lot to streamline transplantation surgeries.

“For example, on December 16, 2021, the Verkhovnaya Rada adopted Law 5831 On Regulating the Transplantation of Human Anatomical Materials. Under the law, a transplantation now doesn’t require a notarized consent from the living donor or his relatives. The procedure for organ removal from the deceased has also been significantly simplified, even if they didn’t give their consent for donating their organs post-mortem. That means it has been made legal by law, not just a fact on the ground,” she said. “Not only government clinics, but also private clinics have been given the right to perform transplantations. Can you imagine a private clinic in Ukraine these days? On April 4, 2022 the Verkhovnaya Rada adopted Law 5610 On Amending the Tax Code. It exempted organ transplantation surgeries from the VAT. It’s not just about budget revenue, it’s about additional control,” Zakharova said.

Read more …

“..literally every country” was approached..”

And still 130 showed up.

West Pressured Countries To Skip SPIEF – Moscow (RT)

The US and its allies threatened countries with consequences if they decided to send delegations to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Speaking to TASS news agency on the sidelines of the forum in Russia’s second-largest city on Saturday, Zakharova was asked whether the West had tried to pressure nations that intended to participate in the event. “There was immense pressure,” she replied, adding that “literally every country” was approached. “They wrote letters. Threats were made during the meetings,” she claimed. Washington was the “leader” of these efforts, and was helped by other “NATO-centric countries,” the spokeswoman said.

The US and its allies told nations that were planning to attend SPIEF that they “would face consequences, that the next… package of sanctions is just around the corner and that everyone should think twice before participating in events on the territory of Russia,” Zakharova said. The West has been acting in a similar manner ahead of talks between Moscow and other capitals, or the signing of major business deals between Russian firms and foreign partners, she claimed. “Every time, curators from the US, UK, the EU either head out in advance to relevant countries… to pressure local officials and business representatives, intimidate, paint scary pictures. Or they come afterwards in order to try to destroy the agreements that had been reached,” Zakharova said.

She claimed that such efforts routinely take place ahead of visits by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the African continent. According to Zakharova, the US and its allies target Russia’s international ties in all areas, including “culture, economy, business, politics, media cooperation.” SPIEF, which has been held annually since 1997, welcomed some 17,000 guests from 130 countries this year, the organizers said. With Western nations dropping out of the event due to the conflict in Ukraine, most of the participants came from Asia, including China and India, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The United Arab Emirates is the guest of honor of this year’s forum, which closes on Saturday.

Read more …

“..the Asian-Pacific countries are the main holders of the US debt and thus are facing the biggest risks..”

Rosneft’s Sechin: ‘Inflated US Debt Looms Over Asia-Pacific’ (Sp.)

Igor Sechin, head of Russia’s energy company Rosneft stated that US debt is inflated and looms over the Asia-Pacific region as its main holder. “The US debt has jumped 10-fold from $3 trillion to over $31 trillion over the past 30 years. This is two times ahead of the economic growth rate and the cost of servicing it can reach $1 trillion a year, which is a fifth of the budget, and this figure is growing,” Sechin said. He stressed that the Asian-Pacific countries are the main holders of the US debt and thus are facing the biggest risks. Sechin also touched upon the matter of Europe’s dependence on US energy resources. According to him, as a result of the refusal to buy Russian gas and in the absence of other sources of LNG, Europe has found itself completely dependent on energy supplies from the US. “In fact, the European policy of diversification of gas supplies has completely failed,” Sechin concluded.

Read more …

Step by step.

De-Dollarization: Asian Central Banks To Adopt Iran’s SWIFT Alternative (ZH)

In the latest shot fired in the growing rebellion against US dollar dominance, the nine-nation Asian Clearing Union (ACU) has agreed to use Iran’s financial messaging system as an alternative to the dollar-denominated SWIFT system that has long served as the globe’s financial nervous system. “The secretary general of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) says Iran’s financial messaging system SEPAM will replace SWIFT, a dollar-based international system, in trade exchanges between ACU members beginning next month,” Iran’s IRNA News Agency reported. At a Tehran summit in May, ACU members agreed to establish a SWIFT alternative within a month. The adoption of Iran’s SEPAM will be an interim measure, as the ACU will develop its own messaging system over the next several months.

Established in 1974, the ACU now comprises the central banks of India, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Belarus and Mauritius applied for ACU membership at the May summit meeting. Along with Russia and Belarus, Iran has been excluded from SWIFT as part of the US economic sanctions regime. Russia and Iran have established their own alternative connection, linking Iran’s SEPAM with the Financial Messaging System of the Bank Of Russia. In May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told press that “approximately 80% of our mutual settlements are in national currencies: rials and rubles.” The broad de-dollarization trend is the inevitable result of the US government’s knee-jerk use of economic warfare to punish countries that resist its agenda. The quantity of US sanctions exploded by 933% between 2000 and 2021.

You needn’t be a current target of US sanctions to be attracted to non-dollar trade alternatives. “In the face of the American empire’s relentless and compulsive use of sanctions to punish noncompliance with its edicts, any rational government would be wary of the possibility of being targeted over some future controversy with Washington,” wrote Brian McGlinchey at Stark Realities. The ACU’s move follows a growing assortment of other de-dollarization initiatives around the globe. As catalogued by The Cradle’s Pepe Escobar, a sampling includes:
• China and France’s Total trading liquid national gas in yuan
• Russia and China using the ruble or yuan for more than 70% of their trade
• India and Russia trading oil in rupees
• Brazil’s Banco BBM becoming the first Latin American bank to join China’s SWIFT alternative — the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS)
• 19 countries applying to join BRICS, the a geopolitical rival to the the G7 that originally comprised Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
As Escobar summed up the world-changing transition, “The Hegemon – clinging to a toxic cocktail of neoliberalism, sanction dementia, and widespread threats – is bleeding from within. De-dollarization is an inevitable response to system collapse. In a Sun Tzu 2.0 environment, it is no wonder the Russia-China strategic partnership exhibits no intention of interrupting the enemy when he is so busy defeating himself.”

Read more …

Give it all to Ukraine so they can skim it.

ECB Warns EU Against Skimming Profits From Stolen Russian Money (RT)

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Friday privately warned the European Commission against tapping interest from frozen Russian assets, the Financial Times reported, citing a draft internal note from the ECB’s governing council. EU lawmakers have been mulling ways of deploying some of the proceeds for the restoration of Ukraine, which faces a huge reconstruction bill once the conflict with Russia ends. According to the report, the ECB fears that such actions could encourage other central banks that hold large forex reserves to “turn their back” on the euro, especially if the EU decides to act alone and not in a joint move with G7 countries.

“There is no disagreement that this is morally the right thing to do, but the ‘how’ is very difficult. You can’t skirt the rule of law. And if you find something that is legally tenable what are the implications for the euro’s standing as a global currency?” an unnamed EU diplomat told the newspaper. He added that the commission is finalizing proposals on the potential tapping of frozen Russian assets, which are expected to be unveiled later this month. EU securities depositories have seized some €196.6 billion ($215 billion) in Russian assets since the start of the conflict, the news outlet noted, adding that Belgium-based Euroclear alone generated €734 million ($805 million) of interest on cash balances from Russia-sanctioned assets in the first quarter of 2023.

In total, Western governments have frozen about $300 billion in Russian central bank assets since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, and seized more than $80 billion worth of assets belonging to Russian citizens and businesses. While addressing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described these actions as “medieval.” “Many businessmen were stunned to see that their accounts in the West were frozen. It never crossed anyone’s mind. This is robbery. They closed them, took them away and won’t even explain why. It’s shocking. It’s like the Middle Ages,” the Russian president said.

Read more …

“..just a run-of-the-mill respiratory season, weaponized and fueled by a continuous global hysteria.”

There Was No Pandemic (Schachtel)

Now that the hysteria is finally winding down, “experts” and commentators on both the pro lockdown and anti lockdown side are discussing the “lessons learned” from the pandemic, as if there was something uniquely outside of the norm about the nature of illness we’ve witnessed. They’ve boxed themselves into a false paradigm, similar to the lab leak versus natural origin debate. These forces, whether they are aware of it or not, are operating within a purposely limited framework. They’ve been captured by the Government Health/Big Pharma narrative that there was in fact an emergency that demanded a response, and most won’t dare step out of line to question the authenticity of the premise itself.

But as we explained Thursday in our piece, “it really was just the flu, bro,” there was no significant distinction between the covid years and your average flu season. There are no “lessons to be learned from the pandemic” because there was no pandemic. Covid-19 simply doesn’t fit the bill, according to the widely understood interpretation of what a pandemic entails. We must let go of the limitations of this false “pandemic” construct that is labeled covid-19. We need not take the bait that there was a pandemic that had to be dealt with. There was certainly a global hysteria, but it was a psychological hysteria. There was no global viral emergency, because the vast majority of the global population was not significantly threatened by this supposedly devastating disease.

Had the world been caught up with say, some other “emergency” on our minds, “the pandemic” would have just been written off as another human respiratory illness season. If anything, the lesson to be learned is not to put your trust in the hands of the government, which, either through malice or reckless indifference, encouraged widespread iatrogenic injury as the solution to a nonexistent pandemic. It wasn’t “the pandemic” that devastated the global economy and wrecked civilization, it was the top-down dictates from above that caused millions of excess deaths worldwide, all to supposedly combat a disease that was not out of the ordinary whatsoever. Covid-19 was just the flu. There was no pandemic, but just a run-of-the-mill respiratory season, weaponized and fueled by a continuous global hysteria.

Read more …

“..American Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, sent panicky emails to the folks back home about Onyshschenko’s allegations of Biden bribery..”

Call the Exorcists! (Jim Kunstler)

The dybbuk Weissmann is best known, of course, for directing the Special Counsel’s “Russian Collusion” campaign (2017 – 2019) in the mental absence of its nominal chief, Robert Mueller, an endeavor that, in the end, could not find any instance of then-President Trump colluding with said Russians — but did, via a firehose of media leaks, succeed in casting a Trump derangement spell over half the US population. Dybbuk Weissmann lately haunts the MSNBC cable news channel as a “legal analyst.” And yet, this shape-shifting fiend turns up again now in the Biden family global bribery matter, of all things. See if you can follow the convoluted tale coming out of Dybbuk Central a.k.a. Ukraine and the FBI.

You may already know that in May, 2014, R. Hunter Biden, son of then-vice president Joe Biden, was appointed to the board of the Ukrainian natgas company Burisma, where he was paid $80,000-a-month for his expertise (he had none) in the global gas industry. As it happened, at exactly the same time Veep Joe Biden was appointed as then-President Barack Obama’s “point man” in Ukraine after the 2014 Maidan Coup, engineered by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the CIA, that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych. By and by, Ukraine elected a new American-friendly president, Petro Poroshenko. Burisma was owned by an oligarch name of Mykola Zlochevsky. Apparently, the $80-K-a-month for Hunter Biden was not enough. The friendly American veep, Joe Biden, pressed Burisma’s Zlochevsky to provide $5-million payment each to Hunter and himself for additional Biden family services in Ukraine.

President Petro Poroshenko had a political confidant and fixer (problem solver) named Oleksandr Onyshchenko, then a member of Ukraine’s parliament. In the 2015-16 time-frame, Onyshchenko conveyed a message to Zlochevsky that paying large sums of money to the Bidens might not be a good idea. Somehow, Onyshchenko’s complaints about the Bidens’ grift operation made it into the leading Kiev newspaper. As we all know, in November, 2016, Donald Trump was elected US President. Catastrophe! Freak-out in the US embassy in Kiev! December, 2016, American Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, sent panicky emails to the folks back home about Onyshschenko’s allegations of Biden bribery. One of the recipients was a CIA agent implanted in the National Security Council name of Eric Ciaramella, later known as the Ukraine Phone Call Whistleblower.

Now, you may recall that in the summer of 2019, the owner of a Delaware computer repair shop, one John Paul Mac Isaac, came into possession of a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden — under law, being left 90-days after repairs were made — and seeing its startling contents, tried to give it to the FBI, but was rebuffed. By then, CIA agent Eric Ciaramella had blown his whistle over a phone call Mr. Trump made to new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky inquiring about the Bidens’ doings there. Later that fall, with impeachment proceedings started against President Trump, FBI agents came back at Mr. Mac Isaac and took the computer into the agency’s possession. Consider that FBI Director Christopher Wray must have known about the laptop coming into his HQ and what it contained — and known that throughout the impeachment and Senate trial proceedings of Mr. Trump, And, of course, Mr. Wray did not volunteer any of this evidence about the Bidens to Mr. Trump’s defense attorneys. Nor did then-Attorney General William Barr, Mr. Wray’s superior. Odd, a little bit?

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Tiny turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 types

 

 

 

 

Eagle

 

 

Eagle??
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669813828295573506

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 172023
 
 June 17, 2023  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Paul Klee Sicilian Landscape1924

 

Putin Predicts Fate Of F-16 In Ukraine (RT)
Kiev ‘Facing Tough Resistance’ From Russian Troops – Zelensky (RT)
Putin: Kiev Has Lost 186 Tanks, 418 Armored Vehicles, Losses Mounting (Sp.)
Orban Claims Only Trump Can Stop Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)
Zelensky ‘A Disgrace To The Jewish People’ – Putin (RT)
The World Will Be Different When The Ukraine Conflict Ends – Lavrov (RT)
Russia’s New Roadmap for Multipolar World (Pepe Escobar)
Anglo-Saxons Control Collective West – Lavrov (RT)
Poland Covets Western Ukraine – Putin (RT)
Zelensky Offers Zero Flexibility To African Leaders (RT)
Some Peace Proposals On Ukraine Have Ideas That Could Work – Zakharova (TASS)
Putin and What Really Matters in the Chessboard (Escobar)
China’s Xi Jinping Welcomes ‘Old Friend’ Bill Gates in Beijing (Sp.)
Germany Has No More Money For EU – Finance Minister (RT)
Unprecedented Funding Crisis: UN To Cut Food Aid For 2.5 Million In Syria (MEE)

 

 


RIP Daniel Ellsberg

 

 

Ellsberg
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669804346668720128

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milley

 

 

 

 

The F-16s will have to be stationed in Germany and Poland. And Russia will not wait till they show up in Ukraine airspace. Dangerous development.

“In case Kiev gets some F-16s and stations them at bases outside Ukraine, “we will need to look at how and where we can hit those assets..”

Putin Predicts Fate Of F-16 In Ukraine (RT)

Any F-16 fighters the West sends to Kiev will be destroyed just like the tanks they have already delivered, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. In case they are based outside of Ukraine, that may lead to open war with NATO, he added. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Putin described how the much-heralded Ukrainian offensive, using Western heavy equipment delivered for the purpose, was actually going. “Tanks are burning. Among them are the Leopards. They burn. So will the F-16s. There is no doubt,”the Russian president said.

Kiev has repeatedly demanded F-16s from the US and its allies. Ukrainian pilots are already being trained on the fourth-generation jets, though none have yet been delivered. The US-made fighter requires very specific airfield conditions, however, which Ukraine may not be able to provide. In case Kiev gets some F-16s and stations them at bases outside Ukraine, “we will need to look at how and where we can hit those assets used in combat operations against us,” Putin said at SPIEF. “This is a serious danger of further dragging NATO into this armed conflict.”

Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO that sending weapons to Kiev only prolongs the conflict and risks open confrontation. The US and its allies insist they are not a party to the hostilities, but only supplying Ukraine with money, weapons, ammunition, equipment, intelligence and advice in order to “defeat Russia.” Though the F-16s do not pose a serious challenge to the Russian air force, Moscow has raised concerns with the UN Security Council over their possible deployment because the planes are capable of carrying tactical nuclear bombs. Earlier this month, one influential US think-tank advocated giving such weapons to Ukraine.

Read more …

aka we’re getting butchered.

Kiev ‘Facing Tough Resistance’ From Russian Troops – Zelensky (RT)

Russian troops are responding fiercely to Ukrainian attempts to break through their defenses amid Kiev’s long-anticipated counteroffensive, President Vladimir Zelensky admitted in an interview aired on Thursday. Speaking to NBC News, the Ukrainian leader said Ukrainian troops “are facing very tough resistance” and claimed that “for Russia to lose this campaign to Ukraine… actually means losing the war.” Despite the apparent difficulties, Zelensky attempted to put an optimistic spin on the battlefield situation, describing the news from the front line as “generally positive, but it’s very difficult.” The Ukrainian president also reiterated calls for supplies of F-16 fighter jets to Kiev, arguing that deliveries are being hindered by bureaucracy.

“We are losing time, we are losing people, and, the most important thing, we are losing our advantage,” Zelensky said, insisting that without Ukraine being given modern Western aircraft, “Russia is controlling the air.” Zelensky’s remarks came as the Washington Post cited officials in Kiev as saying that Ukraine was reluctant to delay its attacks on Russia. According to the outlet, Ukraine wants to demonstrate real battlefield progress before the winter, in order to assure its Western backers that it can prevail. However, the Post’s sources warned that offensive action would result in heavy losses in personnel and equipment, which they claimed would be exacerbated by the lack of Western-made jets and long-range artillery needed to attack Russian targets far from the front line.

Ukrainian forces launched a large-scale offensive on June 4, repeatedly attempting to breach Russian lines in several sections of the front. Their efforts have been to no avail, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. On Wednesday, Moscow estimated Ukrainian frontline losses to be 7,500 soldiers killed or wounded since the start of the offensive. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also claimed that Ukraine was “taking heavy casualties,” which he said were greater than Russia’s by a factor of ten. He claimed that Kiev had failed to gain any ground and had lost up to 30% of its Western-supplied equipment.

Read more …

Tough Resistance. How tough?

Putin: Kiev Has Lost 186 Tanks, 418 Armored Vehicles, Losses Mounting (Sp.)

Ukrainian forces launched a long-awaited counteroffensive earlier this month after stocking up on NATO weapons, including Leopard heavy tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles. The offensive has stalled after running into well-prepared Russian defensive lines, with even Kiev’s Western backers expressing concerns about Ukraine’s heavy losses. Ukraine has failed to reach any strategic objectives amid its ongoing counteroffensive, losing 186 tanks and 418 armored vehicles to date as losses continue to mount, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “In some places Ukrainian forces manage to reach the first line of defense, in some places not. That’s not the question,” Putin said, speaking to reporters during the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

“The question revolves around the fact that they are using their so-called strategic reserves, which consist of several components. The first is meant to be used to break [Russian] defenses, the second to use forces to entrench their foothold over territory. They have not reached their goals at a single section of the front. This is what is important,” he said. “Their losses are indeed very large, even more than ten to one compared to the Russian army. This is a fact. In terms of equipment, losses are mounting daily. As of today, this includes 186 tanks lost and 418 armored vehicles of various classes,” Putin said. Russia’s defense enterprises are working round-the-clock to supply the military with weapons, working double or even triple shifts, Putin said. “We have increased the output of military production by 2.7 times, and when it comes to the most needed equipment – by 10 times.”

As for Ukrainian forces, Putin predicted that “soon they will stop using its own equipment” entirely because it’s being systematically destroyed. “Everything they’re using to do battle, and everything they’re using is coming from abroad. One can’t fight that way for long,” he said. Putin also once again took the opportunity to delve into the root causes of the present crisis, saying “the war in Ukraine, in southeastern Ukraine, was started by the Kiev regime with the support of their Western sponsors in 2014. But everyone in the West tries not to speak about this. I am forced to remind them that aviation, tanks, artillery were used used against the Donbass [back then]. What is this if not a war?”

Kiev “refused” to entertain an end to the Donbass crisis using peaceful means, Putin said, “forcing us to use our armed forces to attempt to put an end to this war.” It wasn’t Russia that led its Western partners “by the nose” between 2015 and 2022 by signing the Minsk peace deal for Donbass, “without any plans to implement it, as they publicly admitted recently,” he added, referring to recent revelations by the former Ukrainian, German and French leaders that they only signed the Minsk deal to give Kiev time to rearm and prepare for war with Russia.

Read more …

“..Hungary is interested in seeing a supporter of peace as the head of the United States..”

Orban Claims Only Trump Can Stop Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban once again voiced his support for Donald Trump on Friday and argued that only the former US president could stop the conflict in Ukraine. “If there is a person in the Western world who can stop this war and make peace, it is former US President Donald Trump, and Hungary is interested in seeing a supporter of peace as the head of the United States,” Orban said on Kossuth Radio After the conflict, “the truth will remain with the supporters of a peace settlement,” including Hungary, whose position has “moral righteousness,” the Hungarian prime minister added.


Trump has claimed on numerous occasions that had he been the US president he would have settled the conflict in Ukraine within 24 hours. Ukraine’s Western donors have repeatedly called on Russia to hold peace talks, while Ukraine has enshrined its refusal to negotiate in law. Moscow said it would be open to peace talks as long as Ukraine recognizes the territorial changes that have taken place in the course of the conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s peace plan, on the other hand, insists on the restoration of Ukraine’s full territorial integrity.

Read more …

“..the current Ukrainian authorities openly celebrate Nazi figures, most notably supporters of Stepan Bandera..”

Zelensky ‘A Disgrace To The Jewish People’ – Putin (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky brings shame on the entire Jewish people, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, pointing to Kiev’s turning a blind eye to neo-Nazi ideology. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), the Russian leader was asked to comment on the criticism of Russia’s stated goal to “denazify” Ukraine, with Western experts arguing that such an aspiration is ridiculous because Zelensky himself is Jewish. Putin responded by saying that his friends in the Jewish community do not share this view. “They say that Zelensky is not a Jew, he is a disgrace to the Jewish people. I’m not joking, this is not irony,” Putin said. He pointed to the fact that the current Ukrainian authorities openly celebrate Nazi figures, most notably supporters of Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the Third Reich during World War II.


The Russian leader recalled that out of six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, 1.5 million were from Ukraine, with Ukrainian nationalists being heavily involved in mass executions. However, nobody wants to hear about Bandera being an anti-Semite, because Zelensky himself is a Jew, Putin said. “But with his actions, he provides cover for this scum,” the Russian leader said. On Tuesday, Putin blasted Kiev’s decision to remove Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin – who he says basically founded Ukraine – from public squares and replace him with Bandera, whom he referred to as “a scoundrel and a fascist.” At the time, he said he was “surprised” by the move, pointing to Zelensky’s Jewish roots.

Read more …

“..autonomy and independence of any structures on the global arena that are related to the West are becoming the main trend today.”

The World Will Be Different When The Ukraine Conflict Ends – Lavrov (RT)

By the time the conflict in Ukraine is resolved, Kiev will respect the loss of its former territories, and Western-led globalization will be dead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told RT Arabic on Friday. Speaking on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Lavrov described the West’s proxy war with Russia as “a geopolitical conflict,” in which the US was attempting to eliminate a powerful competitor and “preserve its hegemonic position by all means.” “The attempt is futile, and we all know this,” Lavrov stated, adding that Ukraine and its backers will be forced to accept new “concrete realities” before a ceasefire is reached.

Firstly, Kiev must accept that any potential peace agreement will need to take into account the loss of the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye Regions, which voted to join the Russian Federation last year. Before sending its military into Ukraine, Moscow offered more generous terms, and Lavrov warned on Friday that “the longer they put off talks, the more difficult it will be for them to reach an agreement with us.” Ukraine and its European backers have admitted that the 2014 and 2015 Minsk agreements – under which Kiev promised to grant limited autonomy to Donetsk and Lugansk – were a ruse to buy Ukraine time to prepare for war with Russia. This situation will never be repeated, Lavrov told RT. “We won’t be prepared to let security guarantees be based on more pledges and promises or even documents the West may offer us,” he said. “We must guarantee our national security on our own.”

“We fully understand that we can only rely on ourselves and build relations only with countries open to an equal and mutually beneficial partnership,” Lavrov continued. “This is not what we see in the West these days.” Lastly, Lavrov declared the era in which the US and its allies control the institutions of globalization – primarily development banks and multilateral organizations – will come to a close. Aside from hosting the SPIEF, which drew thousands of delegations from more than 100 countries this week, Russia plays a leading role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Greater Eurasian Partnership, as well as the expanding BRICS group. “Today, there is an understanding that growth processes need to be regionalized and this vision prevails,” Lavrov said. “All the countries of this vast continent should use their God- and nature-given advantages to develop mutually beneficial logistic, financial, and transport chains.”

The foreign minister added that Russia would “leave all doors open” for partnership with European countries who realize that their interests are better served by cooperation with Russia rather than by playing Washignton’s “ideological and geopolitical games.” “The world will be different,”Russia’s top diplomat concluded. “And the processes we see unfolding today were whipped up by the West’s response to Russia’s Special Military Operation, when we accepted the challenge that they flung at us. These processes clearly show that autonomy and independence of any structures on the global arena that are related to the West are becoming the main trend today.”

Read more …

“The West chooses itself as the only subject. It holds a system of values deemed to be universal – that everybody else must follow.”

Russia’s New Roadmap for Multipolar World (Pepe Escobar)

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is not only the premier platform for discussing everything that matters in business and geoeconomics concerning Russia and the wider Eurasia. It’s a privileged space where trends of the past, present and future are explored in detail: a microcosm of multipolarity at work. The business program is usually an intellectual feast. It’s impossible to convey its breadth and reach in only a few lines, not to mention the exhilarating atmosphere of jumping from room to room in search of the perfect expose. What follows could be regarded as a sort of incomplete Greatest Hits of the Thursday, June 15 sessions – packing enough punch to drive multipolarity-heavy debates for weeks if not months ahead.

The heavyweight-laden panel How The Russian Economy Will Develop featured Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and top Putin aide Maksim Oreshkin. The unflappable Nabiullina stressed now “inter-operability” will help “the Russian paying system to be integrated in the global system”. She remains in favor of “selected privatization”, keeping “confidence in capital markets”, and low inflation. Siluanov was keen on the “need to change the paradigm”; the importance of the State creating demand; and the need to reduce subsidies. Macro-stability is important – “but we should not overdo it.” Oreshkin agrees: the government should get rid of assets “it does not really need”. A De-Dollarization panel debated the plausibility of transitioning from the US dollar towards a “fundamentally new supranational currency, overseen by a broad consortium of states operating on principles of partnership”. That’s essentially what’s being discussed at the heart of both the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and BRICS.

The future of Russia was at the center of the Horizon 2040 debate. Andrey Bezrukov, president of the Technological Sovereignty Exports Association and a professor at MGIMO, stressed how in 2024 Russia holds the chairmanship of BRICS: it’s time, right now, to “turn it not only into an alliance of equal partners but also a financial, technological and economic force.” Alexander Dugin engaged in a stunning presentation, explaining paths towards development in parallel to how Russians should understand identity. That led to an inevitable critique of ethnocentrism: “The West chooses itself as the only subject. It holds a system of values deemed to be universal – that everybody else must follow.” That’s “the West as the whole of humankind”, coupled with a drive to “de-subjectify the rest. The global subjectivity of the West is built in”. Dugin described it as “a virus”, developed “over centuries.”

Integration in the Global West, according to Dugin, “leaves Russia without a future.” Rather, Russia should declare the West to be “one force among several. Not an existential threat.” Russia can “proclaim itself as a sovereign state. Exercise a “mental de-colonization of society.” That’s how a “civilization-state that defines its own goals” should act. Showing a diagram in three steps, “between red and lilac”, Dugin illustrated how Russia can perform the transition from “understanding itself in the Western world” towards “sovereign development.”

Read more …

“..saying that Western values are being protected in Ukraine is the same as saying that Nazism is your mode of existence..”

Anglo-Saxons Control Collective West – Lavrov (RT)

London and Washington run the show in the “rules-based world order,” trying to dictate policy to their own allies as well as countries outside the West, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told RT on Friday. Russia fully understands that building relations with other countries needs to be based on mutual benefits and equal partnerships, Lavrov said in an interview with RT at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). “This is not what we see in the West these days. The Anglo-Saxons are basically running the show, controlling the rest of the collective West. They are using the current situation, which they created through Ukraine – this war against Russia – to remove competition,” Lavrov elaborated.

“They see us as a competitor, they see China as a competitor. Their doctrinal documents clearly state that. But they are also removing their competition in continental Europe. It’s obvious. The economic and social processes in Germany are grim. Other countries are not much better off,” the Russian foreign minister added. The only Western state benefiting from the current situation is the US, Lavrov said, “and the UK is always somewhere around, helping America reach its selfish goals.” According to Lavrov, the “Anglo-Saxons and their allies” are currently trying to pressure countries around the world to side with them against Russia, including the Arab world, using methods he can only describe as “rude.”

“You see, when they talk about these ‘rules’ on which the international order must be based, what they really mean is their diktat,” Lavrov told RT. “Colonial instincts – live at the expense of others. Nothing else.” Lavrov took particular exception to Western proclamations that their support for Kiev is “defending democracy” and that Ukraine is fighting for “Western values” in the conflict with Russia. “First of all, if they really see it that way, I cannot but be convinced that they are holding on to Nazi views. Because saying that Western values are being protected in Ukraine is the same as saying that Nazism is your mode of existence,” the diplomat told RT. As for democracy, he added, “they only speak about democracy when they teach others how to live,” but not when it comes to respecting the sovereign equality of other states, per the UN Charter.

Read more …

“..Warsaw is considering submitting restitution demands to Kiev for the 1943 Volhynia massacres, which saw over 100,000 Poles killed..”

Poland Covets Western Ukraine – Putin (RT)

Poland has its own ambitions in the Ukraine conflict and is seeking to claim parts of the country’s territory, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed during a discussion at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “The Poles have their own goals, they sleep and dream of seeing the return of western Ukraine, and, apparently, they are gradually moving towards this,” the Russian leader told participants of the forum, noting that Poland has still not forgotten the genocide of its people by Ukrainian ultranationalists during World War II. The president’s comments come after several Russian officials have suggested that Warsaw is secretly planning to annex parts of western Ukraine, primarily the so-called ‘Eastern Borderlands’, which were controlled by Poland between the two world wars and include four regions of modern Ukraine: Lviv, Volyn, Ivano-Frankovsk, and Ternopol.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of the National Security Council, claimed back in January that Poland’s decision to send Western main battle tanks to Ukraine was a secret ploy to partition the country. Last year, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, suggested that Polish President Andrzej Duda had already instructed the “relevant services” to come up with a justifiable basis to claim those territories. He also stated that he had received intelligence suggesting that Warsaw is considering submitting restitution demands to Kiev for the 1943 Volhynia massacres, which saw over 100,000 Poles killed by the Nazi-allied Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists led by Stepan Bandera. Kiev currently considers the Nazi collaborator a national hero.

Warsaw, however, has repeatedly denied claims that it plans to take over Ukrainian territory, dismissing it as a Russian disinformation operation. Nevertheless, Duda has expressed hope that a time will come when both Poland and Ukraine will live “together on this land, building and rebuilding our common happiness and common strength that will allow us to resist every danger.” In early March of 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky stated that “effectively, we no longer have a border with Poland, with a friendly Poland,” referring to how welcoming Warsaw had been to Ukrainian refugees.

Read more …

Remarkable: “According to Zelensky, Russia “deceived” the world for years with the Minsk process and is trying to do so again..”

Zelensky Offers Zero Flexibility To African Leaders (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky brushed off the African Union peace initiative on Friday, insisting there can be no negotiations with Russia. The high-ranking delegation, led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, visited Kiev and is headed to Moscow next. “I have said clearly and many times during our meeting today that allowing any talks with Russia while the occupiers are still on our land means freezing the conflict, the pain and the suffering,” Zelensky said at the press conference afterward. According to Zelensky, Russia “deceived” the world for years with the Minsk process and is trying to do so again. For peace to happen, he argued, “Russian troops need to leave our entire independent territory.”

The Franco-German proposal Ukraine had agreed to in 2015 was supposed to bring peace in the Donbass, but former German chancellor Angela Merkel admitted last year that its true intent was to buy time for NATO to arm Ukraine. Former French president Francois Hollande has confirmed Merkel’s account. Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted with disappointment, saying he believed for years that Berlin and Paris had been sincere. Zelensky also told reporters that Ukraine was greatly helping African nations with food security and setting up “grain hubs” on the continent “with our partners,” accusing Russia of using hunger and social instability as a tool of political pressure. The grain Kiev exported under the terms of the Black Sea Initiative, however, has mostly gone to the EU and ended up as animal feed.

Meanwhile, the UN has failed to unblock the export of Russian food and fertilizer to Africa, which used to account for a far greater share of the continent’s needs. The African Union mission got off to an inauspicious start in Warsaw, when Polish authorities held up Ramaphosa’s security detail. While in Kiev on Friday, the visitors were reportedly told to take shelter from incoming “Russian missiles.” Ukrainian authorities later claimed to have shot down six Russian hypersonic rockets. “There’s obviously some deliberate misinformation being spread here,” Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya later told South African media, adding that the delegation didn’t hear any explosions or see anything out of the ordinary.

Zelensky has previously turned down the Vatican’s offer to mediate a ceasefire as well, telling the papal envoy Cardinal Matteo Zuppi earlier this month that he would only accept the terms of his own Ukrainian “peace formula.” The list of ten demands includes Russia’s withdrawal from all territories Kiev claims as its own, payment of reparations, war crimes trials and NATO membership for Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed it as delusional and said that any peace talks will be with Zelensky’s “masters” in the West, rather than their puppet.

Read more …

“They [Washington] also humiliate and cause problems for the European Union as much as they can while considering them [EU] as reliable partners, allies and dear friends..”

Some Peace Proposals On Ukraine Have Ideas That Could Work – Zakharova (TASS)

Peace initiatives on the Ukrainian conflict settlement proposed by various countries contain ideas that could work, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with TASS. Asked by a TASS correspondent at the 2023 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) whether there were viable ideas in the peaceful settlement plans proposed by other countries, Zakharova replied “of course there are.” “I reiterate that we are thankful to every country, every state or every public figure – because many initiatives were personally proposed by prominent figures, internationalists; we are grateful to everyone, who speaks about peace, who speaks about [peaceful] settlement and, who wants to be useful regarding this issue,” she said.

“There are interesting ideas, which may work. There are ideas that are in sync with our approaches, and, for instance, it includes the Chinese initiative,” she continued. Zakharova stressed that the main problem is that such initiatives are being blocked “by the Kiev regime, which banned itself” from holding any negotiations with Russia. “All of it was blocked by [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky, because this concept was laid out by Washington. Washington pursues the concept of ‘kill as many Russians as possible.’ This concept was voiced by prominent representatives of the US political establishment including [ex-US President] George Bush Jr and Senator [Lindsey] Graham,” Zakharova said. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman added that that Washington adhered to the concept of utter domination in the world and strategic defeat of Russia.

“They used to speak about it and documented it as dismemberment. But now, they are somehow trying to publicly rewind it back – I mean previously voiced statements and concepts of US diplomats – as they now say that this is not dismemberment of Russia, but some kind of punishment for Russia,” she stated. “Although it may seem not to be important, they have shaped it up with a precise formulation,” Zakharova said. “This is why this issue is not about the essence of the proposed initiatives, but about the inability of Ukraine to move towards the peace because of the block set by political scientists from Washington. They [US political scientists] have a totally different view of Ukraine’s future,” she continued.

According to her, the United States has no interest in the flourishing and, moreover, independent Ukraine as they view this country as a tool of influence upon Russia and the region on the whole.”Therefore, we see its relevant projection on China and the European Union,” she continued. “It’s because Russia is not the final aim at all for Washington in this game. Their aim is definitely China, and they [Washington] go insane over their [Chinese] rate of their economic growth, with their technological development, with their independent course, with their capabilities, with their determination, with their inked partnership with other countries,” Zakharova said. “They [Washington] also humiliate and cause problems for the European Union as much as they can while considering them [EU] as reliable partners, allies and dear friends,” Zakharova added.

Read more …

“Putin clearly sees how the chessboard has been laid out. And he also sees how “Ukraine” does not even exist anymore..”

Putin and What Really Matters in the Chessboard (Escobar)

It’s been a long way since Putin examined the chessboard in the early 2000s and then unleashed a crash missile program for defensive and offensive missiles. Over the next 23 years Russia developed hypersonic missiles, advanced ICBMs, and the most advanced defensive missiles on the planet. Russia won the missile race. Period. The Hegemon – obsessed by its own manufactured war against Islam – was completely blindsided and made no material missile advances in nearly two and a half decades. Now the “strategy” is to invent a Taiwan Question out of nothing, which is configuring the chessboard as the ante-chamber of no holds barred Hybrid War against Russia-China.

The proxy attack – via Kiev hyenas – against Russophone Donbass, egged on by the Straussian neocon psychos in charge of US foreign policy, murdered at least 14,000 men, women and children between 2014 to 2022. That was also an attack on China. The ultimate aim of this Divide and Rule gambit was to inflict defeat on China’s ally in the Heartland, so Beijing would be isolated. According to the neocon wet dream, all of the above would have enabled the Hegemon, once it had taken over Russia again as it did with Yeltsin, to blockade China from Russian natural resources using eleven US aircraft carrier task forces plus numerous submarines. Obviously military science-impaired neocons are oblivious to the fact that Russia is now the strongest military power on the planet.

In Ukraine, the neocons were hoping that a provocation would cause Moscow to deploy other secret weapons apart from hypersonic missiles, so Washington could better prepare for all-out war. All those elaborate plans may have miserably floundered. But a corollary remains: the Straussian neocons firmly believe they may instrumentalize a few million Europeans – who’s next? Poles? Estonians? Latvians? Lithuanians? And why not Germans? – as cannon fodder as the US did in WWI and WWII, fought over the bodies of Europeans (including Russians) sacrificed to the same old Mackinder Anglo-Saxon power grab.

Hordes of European 5th columnists make it so much easier to “trust” the US to protect them, while only a few with an IQ over room temperature have understood who really bombed Nord Stream 1 and 2, with the connivance of the Liver Sausage German Chancellor. The bottom line is that the Hegemon simply cannot accept a sovereign, self-sufficient Europe; only a dependent vassal, hostage to the seas that the US control. Putin clearly sees how the chessboard has been laid out. And he also sees how “Ukraine” does not even exist anymore. While no one was paying attention, last month the Kiev gang sold Ukraine to $8.5 trillion-worth BlackRock. Just like that. The deal was sealed between the Government of Ukraine and BlackRock’s VP Philipp Hildebrand.

They are setting up a Ukrainian Development Fund (UDF) for “reconstruction”, focused on energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry and IT. All remaining valuable assets in what will be a rump Ukraine will be gobbled up by BlackRock: from Metinvest, DTEK (energy) and MJP (agriculture) to Naftogaz, Ukrainian Railways, Ukravtodor and Ukrenergo. What’s the point in going to Kiev then? High-grade toxic neoliberalism is already partying on the spot.

Read more …

Xi is interested in the WHO and its new lockdown plans. And Gates=WHO.

China’s Xi Jinping Welcomes ‘Old Friend’ Bill Gates in Beijing (Sp.)

US billionaire Bill Gates met with China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday. “On June 16, President Xi Jinping met the American Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairperson Bill Gates in Beijing,” Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported. “You are the first American friend I have met in Beijing this year. We have always placed our hopes on the American people, and hoped for continued friendship between the peoples of the two countries,” Xi reportedly told Gates. Gates was cited as saying he was “very honoured to have this chance to meet”. The Microsoft co-founder is believed to have last met with the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2015, on the sidelines of the Boao forum for Asia in Hainan province.


[..] The visit by Bill Gates to China comes against the backdrop of spriralling geopolitical tensions that have brought Washington-Beijing ties to one of their lowest points in decades. However, the world’s second-largest economy has been making efforts to attract foreign investors to reinvigorate the economy post-lockdowns. A flurry of stopovers have been made in China by tech bosses. Apple CEO Tim Cook was in the country to attend the China Development Forum.The CEO of CEO of JPMorgan Chase, America’s largest bank in terms of assets, Jamie Dimon, also recently went to China. Most recently, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk visited China, meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, and vowing that his electric carmaker would continue to expand operations in the world’s largest EV market.

At this point it is worth noting that the China visits feed into the rivalry between Gates and Musk. The owner of Twitter met in person with three senior government officials: China’s foreign, commerce and industry ministers, and reportedly conferred with Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang.” However, Bill Gates scored a major win over the South African-born American entrepreneur by wecuring a sit-down with the Chinese leader, Xi Jingping. “It is worth noting that on my recent trip to China I went to senior leadership there. I think we had some very productive discussions on artificial intelligence risks, and the need for some oversight or regulation,” Elon Musk said on Twitter Spaces on June 5.


The two tech gurus who have been vying for the role of the world’s richest man (according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Elon Musk recently regained the title, surpassing LVMH’s Bernard Arnault) have been recently verbally sparring on Twitter. Musk slammed the fellow billionaire for holding a short position on Tesla shares worth around $2 billion. After a series of viral exchanges, in an interview with a French YouTuber, Gates spoke of his record on climate change philanthropy and questioned the benefit of electric vehicles. In response, Musk tweeted, ‘Sigh.”

Read more …

But we stand with Ukraine…

Germany Has No More Money For EU – Finance Minister (RT)

Germany cannot afford to pay more money into the EU budget, Finance Minister Christian Lindner told the newspaper Die Welt on Friday. Although Germany is the bloc’s largest contributor, it has been forced to make cutbacks as its economy contracts. “In view of the necessary cuts in our national budget, we are currently unable to make any additional contributions to the budget of the European Union,” Linder told reporters in Brussels, adding that other member states have come to the same realization. Lindner explained that the EU has maxed out its long-term budget through 2027, largely as a result of the bloc’s lavish aid packages to Ukraine.

According to the latest figures from Brussels, the EU has given Kiev €72 billion ($79 billion) in economic, military, and humanitarian aid since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began last February. Despite this unprecedented outflow draining its coffers, the European Commission is reportedly readying an additional €72 billion financial aid package to keep the Ukrainian economy limping along to 2027. According to Lindner, the commission will release a report next week asking member states for more money to cover the bill. Germany is the EU’s largest net contributor, giving €21.4 billion ($23.4 billion) to the bloc’s budget in 2021. Its next-door neighbor, Poland, is the largest net drain on the budget, receiving €12.9 billion ($14.2 billion) in 2021.

Once regarded as Europe’s industrial powerhouse and the EU’s most resilient economy, Germany is currently experiencing deindustrialization as a consequence of its decision to cut itself off from cheap Russian gas and transition to more expensive green energy. The German economy fell into recession in the first three months of this year, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is planning to reveal around €20 billion ($21.8 billion) in budget cuts later this month. However, a vote on the budget may be delayed, as Scholz and Lindner’s coalition partners in the Green party argue for tax hikes instead of spending cuts.

Read more …

The west wants Syria to be off balance and suffer..

Unprecedented Funding Crisis: UN To Cut Food Aid For 2.5 Million In Syria (MEE)

The UN has warned that due to an unprecedented funding crisis, it will be cutting food aid to at least 2.5 million Syrians. More than 5.5 million Syrians rely on the UN World Food Programme (WFP) for their basic food needs. The WFP is in the process of drawing up plans to prioritise the remaining three million Syrians who are unable to make it from one week to the next without food assistance. The UN body warned that if it continued to provide aid to all the 5.5 million people in need it would run out of food completely by October. “Instead of scaling up or even keeping pace with increasing needs, we’re facing the bleak scenario of taking assistance away from people, right when they need it the most,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria, Kenn Crossley, in a statement. Finding hard cash for Syrians amid the war in Ukraine, a growing humanitarian crisis in Sudan, and a long-simmering one in Yemen might be difficult.


The amount of money needed to feed Syrians alone is staggering, with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently pleading for more money. “We are asking for $11.1 billion, our largest appeal worldwide. We have no time to spare,” he warned. “There are nutritional supplies which are distributed exclusively by the WFP,” said Dr Mahmod Asaad, the nutritional officer at the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), speaking to Middle East Eye. If there is a reduction in support then “we should expect a high incidence of malnutrition from pregnant and lactating women and high rates of anaemia in women in general, which is currently 53 percent and is classified as phase five which is very critical or catastrophic. “High incidence of malnutrition in children and an increase in the incidence of children stunting, which currently reached 28.6 percent and is classified as phase four critical or severe,” he added.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Tesla

 

 

 

 

Eagle

 

 

Humming

 

 

extroverts vs introverts

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 152023
 


Georgia O’Keeffe New York Street with Moon 1925

 

Ukraine Lost Some 7,500 People on Contact Line Since June 4 – Russian MoD (Sp.)
House Dems Refuse To Say Whether They Support Cluster Bombs For Ukraine (IC)
US Knew Ukraine Planned To Destroy Kakhovka Dam – Moscow (RT)
Hungary Hope For Trump’s Return To White House To Bring Peace To Ukraine (TASS)
US, Chinese FM’s Phone Call Could Be Precondition for Future Dialogue (Sp.)
West Very Afraid New, Large-Scale War Will Break Out – Lukashenko (TASS)
Moscow Offered To ‘Lease’ Crimea From Kiev – Lukashenko (RT)
How African Leaders Decided To Broker Peace Between Russia And Ukraine (Az.)
Erdogan Nixes Sweden’s NATO Bid (Cradle)
Western Sanctions Backfired – US Analyst (RT)
The Biden Family Multi-Million Dollar Crime Spree (GP)
Burisma Energy Accountant, Who Exposed Biden Bribery Scheme Found Dead (TPV)
$10M Magically Appeared In Biden 2017 Tax Return; House GOP Investigating (TPN)
EU Regulators Seek Breakup Of Google Ad Business Over “Illegal” Practices (ZH)
Confidential Pfizer Document Shows 1.6 Million Adverse Events (Horowitz)

 

 

 

 

600 pages
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669021253594750983

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

RT trolling

 

 

House Walensky

 

 

 

 

Trump 77th

 

 

Happy BDay

 

 

Capsized refugee boat off Greek coast yesterday. 79 dead, hundreds missing.

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669016814754443266

 

 

Pepe Escobar @RealPepeEscobar
R.I.P. UKRAINE 1/2
Last month, hush hush, the Kiev gang SOLD Ukraine to $8.5 trillion-worth BlackRock. The deal was sealed by the Government of Ukraine and BlackRock’s VP Philipp Hildebrand. They will set up a Ukrainian Development Fund (UDF) for “reconstruction”.

R.I.P. UKRAINE 2/2
“Reconstruction” of Ukraine by BlackRock will focus on energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry and IT. ALL remaining valuable assets in rump Ukraine will be gobbled up – from Metinvest and DTEK (energy) to Naftogaz, Ukrainian Railways and Ukrenergo.

 

 

 

 

Add in the Russian deaths and that’s over 1,000 a day. For what?

Ukraine Lost Some 7,500 People on Contact Line Since June 4 – Russian MoD (Sp.)

Ukrainian troops have lost about 7,500 military both killed and injured on the line of contact alone since June 4, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. “In total, since June 4, the Ukrainian armed forces have lost about 7,500 people killed and wounded on the line of contact alone, not counting the dead military personnel as a result of the use of Russian long-range precision weapons and aviation in the depths of Ukrainian territory,” the ministry said in a statement. Over the past day, Ukraine unsuccessfully conducted offensives in the South Donetsk, Zaporozhye and Donetsk directions, continuing to suffer losses, the ministry said. Losses of the Ukrainian army in the Donetsk direction exceeded 205 military and 10 pieces of equipment over the past day, the ministry said.

In the Donetsk direction near the settlements of Pervomaiskoe and Petrovskoe, Russia successfully repulsed two enemy attacks, the ministry said in a statement. “During the fighting, the losses of Ukrainian troops amounted to more than 205 military personnel, two armored combat vehicles, seven vehicles, and two D-20 howitzers,” the ministry said. Near the Vremevka ledge, Russia also repelled two attacks, the ministry said, adding that Ukraine lost 11 armored vehicles, including four tanks. Ukraine lost more than 800 soldiers and 20 tanks in the South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions in the past day, the ministry said. “In total, in the past day, enemy losses in the South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions amounted to more than 800 Ukrainian military, 20 tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, 15 armored combat vehicles, two US-made M777 artillery systems, Msta-B and D-30 howitzers, as well as a Grad multiple rocket launcher combat vehicle,” the ministry said.

Russian aviation prevented the attack of Ukrainian assault units in the Zaporozhye direction near the settlement of Zherebyanky, the ministry added. “[On Tuesday night], the Russian armed forces carried out group strikes with sea and air-based long-range high-precision weapons at places of concentration of reserves of the Ukrainian armed forces and foreign mercenaries, as well as warehouses of ammunition, weapons and military equipment of foreign production,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that all assigned objects are hit. The Russian armed forces carried out missile strikes on Ukrainian reserves, foreign mercenaries, as well as warehouses of foreign-made equipment over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

Read more …

War criminals. 1,000 deaths a day is not enough.

House Dems Refuse To Say Whether They Support Cluster Bombs For Ukraine (IC)

Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said recently that he is keeping the door open to sending cluster munitions — widely banned around the world due to their track record of maiming and killing civilians — to Ukraine. In a May interview with Politico, Smith said that the advantage of cluster munitions “is we have a lot of them. To the extent that we’re unable to provide sufficient ammo in other areas, they could certainly fill that gap.” He also framed the munitions as a potential way to end a conflict with no end in sight. “If our cluster munitions could bring the war to a conclusion sooner, it’s something I’m open to,” Smith said. This followed comments Smith made a week earlier at a Council on Foreign Relations event where he similarly described the pros and cons of sending cluster munitions to Ukraine.

Ukraine has asked the United States to provide it with cluster bombs, which Russian troops have deployed against Ukrainian civilians and which Ukraine has reportedly used as well. The Biden administration has expressed concerns about Ukraine’s requests, but it also hasn’t rejected them outright — and U.S. lawmakers continue to press the administration to provide the weapons. While most of those calls have come from Republicans, Smith’s openness to the idea, amid a general bipartisan consensus on sending arms to Ukraine, shows that congressional pressure is ramping up.

The administration seems unlikely to approve sending cluster munitions to Ukraine, but that the idea is even on the table has raised concerns among international security advocates about the disintegration of humanitarian law and the potential for the U.S. to further erode standing norms of civilian protection. “As long as the administration holds the line, keeping with the approach that so many of our NATO allies and others in the global community takes, that will be positive,” said Jeff Abramson, senior fellow at the Arms Control Association. “It’s frustrating that much of what you’re hearing from [Capitol Hill] is a call for sending cluster munitions. That Representative Smith did not fully cut off the possibility is also wrongheaded. These weapons have not been used by the United States in more than a decade.”

[..] The United States has not used cluster munitions since 2009, when it used the weapons during a strike in Yemen, and cluster munitions have not been produced in the U.S. since the manufacturer Textron shut down production in 2016. Yet the U.S. military maintains massive stockpiles of them. Under a 2017 policy directive, the U.S. military is still authorized to use weapons containing submunitions, in sharp contrast to the dozens of countries that have banned them. The international community has entrenched norms against the use of cluster munitions, said Cesar Jaramillo, executive director at Project Ploughshares, a peace research institute in Canada, namely because they cause indiscriminate harm to civilians and prolong the impacts of war by leaving unexploded munitions. Cluster munitions fracture before impact, sending out a cascade of small bombs that can impact well beyond their intended target.

Read more …

And with US weapons too.

US Knew Ukraine Planned To Destroy Kakhovka Dam – Moscow (RT)

Washington was perfectly aware of Kiev’s plan to destroy the Kakhovka dam since US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers were used in the attack, high-ranking Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov said on Wednesday. HIMARS launchers are “high-precision systems that make use of the US GPS navigation system for targeting,” Gavrilov, who heads Russia’s delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, said. Any targets picked out by Kiev for these systems are “coordinated with the Americans,” he added. According to the official, Ukrainian forces struck the Kakhovka dam with more than 300 HIMARS missiles over the summer and autumn of 2022. “The Americans knew about it. Yet, they did nothing to prevent the catastrophe,”Gavrilov said.

On Wednesday, Russian officials also presented their estimates of the damage caused by the destruction of the dam. The losses amounted to over 1.2 billion rubles ($14 million), according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry. More than 7,000 people have been evacuated from the risk zone, the ministry added. The dam collapsed last week, leading to both banks of the Dnieper River being flooded and multiple deaths. Moscow and Kiev have since traded accusations over who is to blame for the disaster. Officials in Kiev claimed that Russia blew up the dam to supposedly stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the area. However, this idea was dismissed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said the local terrain was already extremely unfavorable for an attack even before the incident. He also said that Russia would have had no interest in destroying the dam, as it would spell “severe consequences for those territories that we control and which are Russian.”

Last week, Ukraine slammed Türkiye for suggesting a UN-backed three-party investigation into the incident. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said at that time that he was “sick and tired” of calls to probe events that occurred during the conflict. The Ukrainian envoy to the UN, Sergey Kislitsa, claimed that launching such a probe would be“impossible.” Russian officials said they were not surprised by Kiev’s reaction to the Turkish proposal. Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, also accused Washington of attempts to “whitewash” Kiev by shifting the blame onto Russia. The envoy stated that Ukraine’s “patrons” in Washington “never criticize Kiev,” but instead approve of all of its actions.

Read more …

Nice angle.

Hungary Hope For Trump’s Return To White House To Bring Peace To Ukraine (TASS)

Hungary is pinning its hopes on a comeback by former US President Donald Trump, who could then bring the armed conflict in Ukraine to an end, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. “If President Trump had won the last presidential election here in the United States, this war [in Ukraine] would not have broken out. <…> We do look at his possible return to the White House as a hope for a peaceful future,” the top Hungarian diplomat told Newsmax TV. Szijjarto also wished the former president victory in the 2024 presidential election and a favorable conclusion to all of the lawsuits filed against him. Budapest has repeatedly said that, in its view, not only Ukraine and Russia, but also the US, which is the biggest military and financial backer of the Kiev regime, should engage in peace talks to settle the conflict.

Speaking about Trump, Szijjarto called the politician “a true friend of Hungary” and wished him success in the upcoming lawsuits. “Whenever a conservative leader has a good chance to win an important [presidential] election as [former] President Trump, [who,] as far as we understand, has a good chance to return to the White House, then he or she gets immediately under an enormous attack by the liberal mainstream,” the top diplomat pointed out. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban earlier openly supported Trump. The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida filed two indictments against the former US president. Specifically, he is charged with mishandling classified documents and falsifying the business records of his company, the Trump Organization.

Orban is one of the few world leaders, if not the only one, to publicly support Trump in connection with the lawsuits filed against him. The Hungarian prime minister has long been a supporter of the former US president and openly wished him success in the last presidential election as the candidate of the Republican Party. At the same time, Orban has had tense relations with the administration of Trump’s Democratic successor, President Joe Biden. The US does not approve of Budapest’s independent stance on a number of international issues, including Ukraine, and Budapest in turn accuses Washington of seeking to interfere in Hungary’s domestic affairs and supporting the political opposition.

Read more …

Lukewarm welcome.

US, Chinese FM’s Phone Call Could Be Precondition for Future Dialogue (Sp.)

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 14, a Chinese national broadcaster revealed. The conversation occurred ahead of a reported visit by the top American official to the country. According to the report, during the conversation, the Chinese top diplomat highlighted that China-US relations have faced new difficulties and challenges this year, and “whose responsibility (for this) is clear”. He also stressed that the American side should show respect, refrain from meddling in China’s internal affairs, and stop undermining Beijing’s sovereign interests in security and development under the pretext of competition. Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China, noted that there has been a shift in the bipartisan consensus in the United States regarding pressure on China.

“Business circles in the United States consider the Chinese market to be very important and call for the economy not to be ‘held hostage’ by politics. They advocate adhering to normal principles of economic development and market principles, and avoiding the formulation of an Indo-Pacific strategy or any other form of ideologization,” the expert said. Moreover, there is still a year to go until the presidential elections in the United States, and Trump, who has already declared that he will immediately stop the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if he wins, could be Biden’s potential rival. According to Wang Yiwei, Biden is currently facing two main points of pressure. “First, the need to seek China’s support on the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, hoping that China can play an active role. Second, there is the issue of the US economy and the national debt”.

Although the debt ceiling has been raised, the problem is far from being solved, and the United States hopes that China will continue to buy US Treasury bonds. In fact, the economic chaos in the United States is closely related to the disruption of production chains, to which they themselves have contributed, and this has also led to tremendous pressure from American business circles. Against this backdrop, there are hopes in the United States for closer relations with China. However, the American media recently published fake news claiming that “China is building a surveillance base in Cuba (to spy on the US)”. “Considering that Blinken’s previous visit to China was postponed due to the balloon incident, this phone call could become a precondition for future dialogue in order to prevent further ruptures in contacts,” Wang Yiwei noted.

[..] Earlier, several US media outlets reported that Blinken was planning to make his delayed trip to China in the coming days, with an unnamed US official giving June 18 as the tentative date of his arrival in Beijing. The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, has not confirmed these reports. If Blinken’s trip goes ahead, it will be the first one for a top US diplomat since 2018. Blinken canceled the February trip after the United States accused China of sending spy balloons into US airspace. Beijing has since denied the allegations.

Read more …

“..Volodya Zelensky. He is a `hero’ now, touring the globe. He is being kissed, hugged and all that. I thought he was smarter..”

West Very Afraid New, Large-Scale War Will Break Out – Lukashenko (TASS)

Despite its latest steps, the West is very afraid about the possibility of a new large-scale war or a nuclear disaster, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with the 60 Minutes talk show on Rossiya-1 television. “I have met with people playing an important role in this, who make radical, drastic and final decisions in the event of an `if’,’” Lukashenko said. “What they fear most is a nuclear disaster, and they have been sincere about this. They are afraid of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. It’s only natural,” he added. Minsk does not want things to play out that way either, Lukashenko assured. “We are not seeking that either, and we, too, are afraid. Because this, experts say, could cause a global catastrophe, and this planet may deorbit, if all these weapons explode,” he maintained.


According to Lukashenko, Russia may use nukes, if the enemy invades its territory or if this act of aggression threatens the existence of the state. He urged talks as long as there is an opportunity for them, but the West, he said, has been banning Ukraine from engaging in any. “I am confident and I have it on good information that the overwhelming majority in Ukraine, including the military who has been fighting and getting killed over there, would like to stop this war now,” the Belarusian leader maintained. “But then there are those hyped-up top-level officials led by [Ukrainian President] Volodya Zelensky. He is a `hero’ now, touring the globe. He is being kissed, hugged and all that. I thought he was smarter,” Lukashenko lamented.

Read more …

Moscow has flatly denied this.

Moscow Offered To ‘Lease’ Crimea From Kiev – Lukashenko (RT)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed that Russia offered financial compensation to Ukraine for Crimea, when the two nations were engaged in peace talks mediated by Minsk. Speaking to a Russian media outlet on Wednesday, the Belarusian leader said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had shown him a draft document which was provisionally accepted by Moscow and Kiev. The proposed treaty was “fine” and included “some kind of long-term lease” regarding Crimea, Lukashenko stated. “It was a good process, but [the Ukrainians] dropped out of it,” he added. Belarus served as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine for years, and hosted talks in 2014 and 2015 which resulted in the signing of the so-called Minsk agreements, the UN-endorsed roadmap for Kiev’s reconciliation with Donbass.

After open hostilities broke out last year, several rounds of peace negotiations were held in Belarus, but talks later moved to Istanbul. The Türkiye-based round of discussions produced a draft agreement under which Kiev pledged to become a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees. However, it made a U-turn soon after, which Moscow described as Ukraine following a US order to continue fighting. Before Crimea rejected the 2014 armed coup in Kiev and voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia, Moscow paid Kiev an annual lease to use Sevastopol as the home base of its Black Sea Fleet. It was last renewed in 2010, when Moscow offered a gas price discount for the extension. With Crimea’s status changing, the Russian government declared the treaty null and void.

In the interview, Lukashenko claimed that the Minsk agreements had been negotiated in bad faith by Kiev and its backers, who used them to buy time for a military buildup in Ukraine. The resulting lack of trust poses a challenge for all future talks, he suggested, before reiterating his vision on how to stop hostilities. “If we agree to a peace process, the war stops, no movements, no tanks, no troops. If anyone is redeployed, I believe we should use nuclear weapons. That is the only way we can talk to them,” Lukashenko said of Ukraine and its backers. Minsk is a close Russian ally and has allowed the use of its territory for the military operation against Ukraine. In March, Russia announced that it would station some of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus at Lukashenko’s request.

Read more …

Good thing they’re finding their voice.

How African Leaders Decided To Broker Peace Between Russia And Ukraine (Az.)

In a bold diplomatic move, seven African heads of state are preparing to embark on a journey to Ukraine and Russia later this week, as they bid to engage their counterparts in both countries in peace talks. Coordinated by the Brazzaville Foundation, a renowned non-governmental organization specializing in conflict resolution, the African Peace Initiative delegation is scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev on June 16, followed by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg the next day. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced the African peace plan, now aptly titled ‘The Road to Peace’, on May 16. Although the details of the initiative have not been made public, Ramaphosa said that the team will meet with Putin and Zelensky to discuss how to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka, South Africa’s ambassador to Russia, told RT that the initiative differs from others in that the leaders are not presenting pre-drawn proposals. He stated that they would first sit down with their counterparts from Russia and Ukraine and discuss what caused the conflict. The mission has strategically drawn leaders from the continent’s five regions: southern, northern, central, eastern, and western. Senegalese President Macky Sall will represent West Africa, after leading the first African Union (AU) mission to Russia to plead for peace on the continent’s behalf at the start of the conflict in 2022. The southern region will be led by South Africa’s Ramaphosa and Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema, while Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will represent North Africa. Denis Sassou Nguesso of Central Africa’s Congo will also be making the trip, while Azali Assoumani of Comoros, who serves as president of the African Union, will represent the east of the continent alongside Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.

These countries have all declared their non-aligned positions in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, refusing to make a unilateral decision. Vladimir Antwi-Danso, director of academic affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, told RT that the mission is significant because it demonstrates that Africa can be proactive in intervening in global affairs. He emphasized that Africa has long taken a backseat to the international community, including the US, regarding action in conflicts that directly affect the continent. Ramaphosa, who is leading the initiative, has described the Ukraine conflict as “devastating,” adding that Africa is also suffering greatly as a result of the fighting. Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso said on Monday that Africa cannot “remain silent” because everyone is “suffering” the consequences.

Philani Mthembu, executive director at the Institute for Global Dialogue, believes the African leaders are trying to shield the continent from Western pressure to pick a side in the conflict, while also seeking to avoid the division that the crisis could cause within the African Union. South Africa, which has maintained a non-aligned stance, has also been pressed to take sides. Its ties with Russia as a BRICS member have led to accusations that the country has backed Moscow. Meanwhile, Confidence Isaiah-MacHarry, a security analyst at SBM Intelligence in Nigeria, said “the African attempt at peace efforts is an important pointer to the fact that Russia is still not isolated.”

Read more …

Hungary’s also a hold-out.

Erdogan Nixes Sweden’s NATO Bid (Cradle)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shot down the notion of Sweden joining the US-led security alliance NATO during next month’s Vilnius summit. According to Erdogan, the Nordic state has failed to uphold Ankara’s requests, as it recently permitted supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to demonstrate on the streets of Stockholm. Earlier this week, while on his way to Azerbaijan, the Turkish president told journalists that “terrorists” were allowed to protest, despite the fact that Stockholm said it was dedicated to meeting Ankara’s requirements to join NATO. These requirements involved extraditing members and supporters of the PKK, which the Turkish government considers “terrorists” due to its long-standing rivalry with Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq.

When asked about NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, an integral figure in pushing Sweden’s NATO bid, Erdogan remarked: “While Stoltenberg was expressing these views to us, unfortunately, at that time, terrorists were demonstrating in the streets again in Sweden,” adding that “now, we cannot approach this work positively within this table.” The presence of individuals linked to the PKK has hindered Sweden’s ability to acquire NATO membership following the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which broke Sweden and Finland’s neutrality after decades of refraining from joining any security bloc. Despite Ankara’s continued block of Sweden’s ascension, Turkiye officially granted Finland eligibility to join NATO at the end of March.

Turkiye remains indecisive about Sweden’s proposal, claiming Swedish officials have not taken the necessary measures to crack down internally on members of the PKK and allied Kurdish militia groups, many of whom continue to reside in Stockholm. Earlier this year, a far-right Swedish politician burned several copies of the Quran, which further inflamed tensions. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson described the act as “extremely serious” and an attempt to sabotage the nation’s NATO application.

Read more …

Day two of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) today. Over 17,000 participants from 130 countries.. What boycott?

Western Sanctions Backfired – US Analyst (RT)

The attempts by the US and its allies to isolate Russia have failed, while the many rounds of sanctions havebackfired and not crippled the country’s economy as intended, American political analyst and car-industry veteran Douglas Andrew Littleton told RT on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF). Littleton added that he was disappointed with his government’s sanctions policy against Moscow. “I think what happened with the sanctions it’s backfiring on the West, and especially on America, in my humble opinion,” the analyst said. “I’m happy that Russia has been able to bypass and skirt the sanctions in so many ways with their friends and allies,” he added.


The US, EU, and allies have hit Russia with numerous rounds of unprecedented sanctions since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The penalties have affected entire sectors of the Russian economy, as well as businesses and individuals, including President Vladimir Putin. Discussing how the Russian economy has handled the Western pressure, Littleton said he believes that what Russia has been able to accomplish is “absolutely fantastic.” When asked about his impression of the St. Petersburg forum, he said: “I am in shock how big this forum is but very pleased to be here.” Over 17,000 participants from 130 countries have reportedly attended the SPIEF, which kicked off on Wednesday. Over the course of the four-day event, participants will discuss key issues related to the Russian and global economy.

Read more …

“..she wanted to testify, but to testify she wanted to be in the Witness Protection program. And she had four colleagues of hers who were willing to testify and support her.”

The Biden Family Multi-Million Dollar Crime Spree (GP)

As TGP reported on Tuesday — there are several eye witnesses with over a dozen audio recordings and numerous bank receipts that detail the Biden Crime Family’s illegal bribery payments. On Saturday America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Rita Cosby on Newsmax that he has a high-level witness who is the former chief accountant at Burisma who is willing to testify on the Biden crimes. She even has the Biden bank account transactions. She has the receipts! Rudy Giuliani: It’s extraordinary. I gave them one witness that any investigator would jump through hoops to go to. Gave them a witness who is a woman who was the chief accountant at this crooked company, Burisma. She was the wife of the former owner who died under suspicious circumstances. And, she was willing to give up all of the offshore bank accounts, including the Bidens’ accounts. She supervised the transfer of a lot more cash to the Bidens and other crooked politicians for Burisma.


On Monday Rudy Giuliani shared more details with the War Room audience. Rudy’s Burisma witness had FOUR COLLEAGUES willing to testify! Rudy Giuliani: “There was one very extraordinary piece of evidence. We had a woman in Ukraine who was the chief accountant for Burisma, the wife of the former partner of Mycola Zlochevsky who owned Burisma and is the major crook who was paying off the Bidens. And she wanted to turn she wanted to testify, but to testify she wanted to be in the Witness Protection program. And she had four colleagues of hers who were willing to testify and support her. She claimed that over an eight year period she supervised all of the offshore illegal bank accounts. All the money laundering went through her. Now, we weren’t sure she was telling the truth but we did have one transaction that I had gotten very early of a complete money laundering transaction for $14 million, some of which went through to Joe Biden with an indication that Joe got $900,000 of it and his family got a total of about 3 million of it.”

Watters
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669008669072142337

Read more …

And there goes Giuliani’s witness… The DOJ wanted nothing to do with her.

Burisma Energy Accountant Who Exposed Biden Bribery Scheme Found Dead (TPV)

The chief accountant at Ukraine’s Burisma Energy, who offered to provide US authorities with damning evidence regarding financial crimes involving Joe and Hunter Biden, has been found dead before she could testify. The Burisma whistleblower, who has been identified as the wife of the former Burisma owner Mykola Lisin, who also died in suspicious circumstances during the years of the Obama administration when vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter were active in Ukraine. Giuliani discussed the fate of the now-deceased whistleblower during an interview on Newsmax’s “Saturday Report” with Rita Cosby. According to Giuliani, who first brought to light Hunter Biden’s notorious “Laptop from Hell”, the whistleblower was the chief accountant at Burisma, the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian energy company.

During Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president under Obama, Burisma compensated Hunter with tens of thousands of dollars per month for his position on the company’s board, despite his complete lack of experience in the energy sector. During that period, then-Vice President Biden withheld U.S. assistance to Ukraine as a means of pressuring the government to dismiss Viktor Shokin, a senior prosecutor who was investigating Burisma and its owner for fraudulent activities. Giuliani, who previously served as President Donald Trump’s attorney, says the whistleblower offered to give a U.S. attorney highly compromising financial information about the Bidens. However, Giuliani says US authorities did everything they could to ignore her, bouncing her case around various offices, in an attempt to make her go away.

He revealed that the Pittsburgh attorney general had initially been investigating the case. But the investigation was later transferred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware, under former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr. Giuliani claims the Delaware office buried the case, despite the whistleblower being under threat of death. He says the whistleblower had evidence that included offshore bank account information that showed millions of dollars in bribes flowing to the Biden family and “other crooked politicians.” Despite the explosive nature of the evidence, Giuliani says prosecutors stonewalled the case and she died suddenly before she could testify. And now the mainstream media are refusing to acknowledge her existence.

“Well, of course, that’s the most ridiculous, idiotic statement to make on a day in which we find out that the Bidens took a $10 million bribe from a Ukrainian Mykola Zlochevsky, which I could have told you, you know, and did tell [the DOJ] three years ago,” Giuliani told Newsmax. “And they followed up on none of the evidence I gave them. They were hoping that people would disappear or die. It’s extraordinary.”

Read more …

Link to China?!

$10M Magically Appeared In Biden 2017 Tax Return; House GOP Investigating (TPN)

House Republicans are demanding increased transparency from President Joe Biden on his personal tax returns after an investigation found one of his corporate entities reported nearly $10 million in revenue without detailing the sources. The president’s critics believe the sudden influx of money may be related to allegations of bribery against the president. CelticCapri Corp, an S-corporation for the president, was not listed on the president’s personal tax returns or campaign website, raising eyebrows as to why the 46th president would conceal such a large income source from the public. While it is common to not list corporate revenue on a personal income statement, politicians running for national office typically disclose all sources of income in an attempt to appear as transparent as possible.

According to Breitbart, the conservative Federalist Society took issue with a 2020 article by USA Today which attempted to hold water for the president by claiming he earned “$15.6 million … from speaking fees and book deals” between 2017 and 2019 and that “more than $10 million of that total income was profits from Biden’s memoir ‘Promise Me, Dad’ and $3 million in profits from Jill Biden’s book.” Following the citations within the USA Today article led readers to no details on the S-corporation, creating what the Federal Society referred to as a “smokescreen.” House Republicans believe they may have found a bone to pick as they race to uncover the truth behind testimony from an FBI informant that President Biden took $5 million in bribes from a Ukrainian official to assist in the firing of another official and easing the path for his son Hunter Biden to conduct business operations in the country.

Members of the Republican caucus told Breitbart that the latest lack of transparency from the president is deeply concerning. “The President seems to find selling out our country funny. We don’t,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC). “If he’s serious about proving our allegations wrong he should release his and his family’s unredacted bank records and show the American people where all this money is coming from. The FBI can’t protect him forever.” Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ), a successful businessman in his own right, told Breitbart News Joe Biden should come clean about the money in lieu of the alleged pay-for-pay scheme.

“The fact that there are credible claims signaling that a foreign national bribed the President of the United States with cash in exchange for influence over U.S. policy decisions is appalling. The American people deserve to know who paid the Bidens and what exactly they were paid for,” he said. “Now that we know there are recordings of conversations Joe Biden and his degenerate son had with a Burisma executive, it’s becoming more and more obvious how the indictment of President Trump is meant to be a distraction,” Crane added. “It would shock no one in this town if Joe Biden received millions of dollars from selling out the country in a bribery scheme and then hid that money in shady shell companies.”

Read more …

Yeah, break up that monopoly. It’s a disgrace.

EU Regulators Seek Breakup Of Google Ad Business Over “Illegal” Practices (ZH)

On Wednesday, European Union regulators informed Google that it “breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in the advertising technology industry.” Regulators seek to break up the US multinational technology company’s advertising empire. The European Commission, the European Union’s antitrust regulator, said, “Google abused its dominant positions” in the buying and selling of online ads across third-party apps and websites. ] The commission said that its preliminary view is Google must sell segments of its ad business to resolve the “inherent conflicts of interest” in digital advertising. However, there was no mention of what was to be sold. Regulators said Google “holds a dominant position” on “both sides of the market with its publisher ad server and with its ad-buying tools.” “The Commission preliminarily finds that, in this particular case, a behavioural remedy is likely to be ineffective to prevent the risk that Google continues such self-preferencing conducts or engages in new ones.

“Google is active on both sides of the market with its publisher ad server and with its ad buying tools and holds a dominant position on both ends. Furthermore, it operates the largest ad exchange. This leads to a situation of inherent conflicts of interest for Google. The Commission’s preliminary view is therefore that only the mandatory divestment by Google of part of its services would address its competition concerns.” The EU’s announcement comes months after the US Justice Department and eight states filed a lawsuit over Google’s ad business, claiming it illegally monopolizes the online ad market. This is the second US antitrust suit federal authorities have brought against the company’s ad empire.

“For 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anticompetitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics, to insulate itself from competition, and force advertisers and publishers to use its tools,” Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in a press release in January. The outcome of these three cases could have widespread implications for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which recorded $60 billion in profit last year from advertising.

“So Google is present at almost all levels of the so-called adtech supply chain. Our preliminary concern is that Google may have used its market position to favour its own intermediation services. Not only did this possibly harm Google’s competitors but also publishers’ interests, while also increasing advertisers’ costs. If confirmed, Google’s practices would be illegal under our competition rules,” Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice president of the European Commission who oversees digital and competition policy, said in a statement. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported the EU was considering ordering a breakup of Google’s ad-tech business. And with pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, the walls are closing in on Google’s ad business.

Read more …

Painful at best.

Confidential Pfizer Document Shows 1.6 Million Adverse Events (Horowitz)

Over 10,000 categories of nearly 1.6 million adverse events – many of them serious and debilitating – brought to you by Pfizer! You might not have heard it in the news, but in recent months, Pfizer’s pharmacovigilance documents requested by the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, have been released. They show that Pfizer knew about a sickening level of injury early on. An August 2022 document shows that the company already had observed the following scope of vaccine injury: • 508,351 individual case reports of adverse events containing 1,597,673 events; • One-third of the AEs were classified as serious, well above the standard for safety signals usually pegged at 15%; • Women reported AEs at three times the rate of men; • 60% of cases were reported with either “outcome unknown” or “not recovered,” so many of the injuries were not transient; • Highest number of cases occurred in the 31-50 year age group, and 92% did not have any comorbidities, which makes it very likely it was the vaccine causing such widespread, sudden injury.

These numbers alone suggest that all COVID shots should be defunded and Congress must immediately remove liability protections from the manufacturers. But a more recent document released by the Europeans is even more devastating, because it breaks down the 1.6 million adverse events observed by Pfizer by category and subcategory of ailment and injury. The 393-page confidential Pfizer document, dated Aug. 19, 2022, shows that Pfizer observed over 10,000 categories of diagnosis, many of them very severe and very rare. For example:

• Pfizer was aware of 73,542 cases of 264 categories of vascular disorders from the shots. Many of them are rare conditions.
• There were hundreds of categories of nervous system disorders, totaling 696,508 cases.
• There were 61,518 AEs from well over 100 categories of eye disorders, which is unusual for a vaccine injury.
• Likewise, there were over 47,000 ear disorders, including almost 16,000 cases of tinnitus, which even Mayo Clinic researchers observed as a common but often devastating side effect early on.
• There were roughly 225,000 cases of skin and tissue disorders.
• There were roughly 190,000 cases of respiratory disorders.
• Disturbingly, there were over 178,000 cases of reproductive or breast disorders, including disorders you wouldn’t expect, such as 506 cases of erectile dysfunction in men.
• Very disturbingly, there were over 77,000 psychiatric disorders observed following the shots, lending credence to Dr. Peter McCullough’s research observing case studies showing psychosis correlating with vaccination.
• 3,711 cases of tumors – benign and malignant
• Of course, there were almost 127,000 cardiac disorders, running the gamut of about 270 categories of heart damage, including many rare disorders, in addition to myocarditis.
• There were over 100,000 blood and lymphatic disorders, for both of which there’s a wealth of literature linking them to the spike protein.

2009

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Humming

 

 

Magpie
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669017609776373768

 

 

Coconut Crab

 

 

Kids play
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668656979424817160

 

 

Cat masks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1668958969333972992

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.