Dec 242021
 


Claude Monet Camille Sitting on the Beach at Trouville 1870-71

 

Vaccine Effectiveness Against Infection With Omicron Or Delta (medRxiv)
UK Reveals How Long Boosters Protect From Omicron (RT)
Efficacy And Safety Of Two Neutralising Monoclonal Antibody Therapies (Lancet)
The Mask and the Face (Farrow)
Patriotic Duty My Eye (David Stockman)
If You’ve Had COVID You’re Likely Protected for Life (Mercola)
Ontario List Fluvoxamine As A Covid-19 Treatment To Consider (CTV)
A Myth is Born: How CDC, FDA, and Media Wove a Web of Ivermectin Lies (Resc.)
‘Biden Seems Confused’: CNN Question President’s Cognitive Health (DM)
Fauci et al Withheld Information on China’s Coronavirus Experiments (NW)
US Airlines Cancel Hundreds Of Flights Scheduled For Friday (DM)
Putin Reveals Thinking Behind 2014 Moves In Crimea (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Tyson: 70% of deaths could have been saved with early treatment. I have not lost a single patient (of over 6,000).

 

 

When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or ‘antenna’ known as a vitamin D receptor. It then searches for vitamin D. If there is an inadequate vitamin D level, they won’t begin to mobilize.

 

 

“..but deaths continue to climb”. That’s what the FT gets from this series of graphs. Good grief.

 

 

 

“This study shows that after three months the vaccine effectiveness of Pfizer & Moderna against Omicron is actually negative. Pfizer customers are 76.5% more likely and Moderna customers are 39.3% more likely to be infected than unvaxxed people. “

“Observational study from Denmark indicates that the mRNA vaccines protect for a few weeks only but then SIGNIFICANTLY AUGMENT Omicron infectivity. Is the immune system actually harmed, creating shot repetition dependency (with unknown long-term safety)?”

Vaccine Effectiveness Against Infection With Omicron Or Delta (medRxiv)

In this brief communication we are showing original research results with early estimates from Danish nationwide databases of vaccine effectiveness (VE) against the novel SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) up to five months after a primary vaccination series with the BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccines. Our study provides evidence of protection against infection with the Omicron variant after completion of a primary vaccination series with the BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccines; in particular, we found a VE against the Omicron variant of 55.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 23.5 to 73.7%) and 36.7% (95% CI: -69.9 to 76.4%) for the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines, respectively, in the first month after primary vaccination. However, the VE is significantly lower than that against Delta infection and declines rapidly over just a few months. The VE is re-established upon revaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine (54.6%, 95% CI: 30.4 to 70.4%).


Note the number of cases in this stat:

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10 weeks. That’s it. Leave the needle in.

Or: realize that Omicron is a very mild version of a disease that 99.97% of people already survived, and keep the needle out forever.

Because after 12 weeks (3 months), see above, “Pfizer customers are 76.5% more likely and Moderna customers are 39.3% more likely to be infected than unvaxxed people. ”

UK Reveals How Long Boosters Protect From Omicron (RT)

While Covid-19 booster shots provide more protection against severe disease from the new Omicron variant, even this starts to wane after 10 weeks, the UK Health Security Agency has announced amid talk of post-Christmas lockdowns. The agency’s data on Omicron in comparison to the previously dominant Delta variant of the virus shows that people infected by the new strain may be up to 70% less likely to end up in a hospital, UKHSA Chief Executive Jenny Harries said on Thursday. She called it an “encouraging early signal” but noted that “this is early data and more research is required to confirm these findings.” Health Secretary Sajid Javid welcomed the findings, but pointed out that “cases of the variant continue to rise at an extraordinary rate – already surpassing the record daily number in the pandemic.”


“Hospital admissions are increasing, and we cannot risk the NHS [National Health Service] being overwhelmed,” Javid said. Protecting the NHS was the rationale for the original 2020 lockdown, based on the early doomsday models from Professor Neil Ferguson at Imperial College in London. Addressing widespread speculation about new restrictions coming after the holidays, Javid said it was “still too early” to tell and that the government was continuing to “monitor the data hour by hour.” He urged Britons to “please stay cautious this Christmas and get your booster as soon as possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.” “While two doses of the vaccine aren’t enough, we know boosters offer significant protection against the variant and early evidence suggests this strain may be less severe than Delta,” the minister said. However, UKHSA data noted that the booster efficacy begins to wane more quickly against Omicron, and is already 15-25% lower after just 10 weeks.

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Hmm. Panacea?

Efficacy And Safety Of Two Neutralising Monoclonal Antibody Therapies (Lancet)

Findings Between Dec 16, 2020, and March 1, 2021, 546 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to sotrovimab (n=184), BRII-196 plus BRII-198 (n=183), or placebo (n=179), of whom 536 received part or all of their assigned study drug (sotrovimab n=182, BRII-196 plus BRII-198 n=176, or placebo n=178; median age of 60 years [IQR 50–72], 228 [43%] patients were female and 308 [57%] were male). At this point, enrolment was halted on the basis of the interim futility analysis. At day 5, neither the sotrovimab group nor the BRII-196 plus BRII-198 group had significantly higher odds of more favourable outcomes than the placebo group on either the pulmonary scale (adjusted odds ratio sotrovimab 1·07 [95% CI 0·74–1·56]; BRII-196 plus BRII-198 0·98 [95% CI 0·67–1·43]) or the pulmonary-plus complications scale (sotrovimab 1·08 [0·74–1·58]; BRII-196 plus BRII-198 1·00 [0·68–1·46]).

By day 90, sustained clinical recovery was seen in 151 (85%) patients in the placebo group compared with 160 (88%) in the sotrovimab group (adjusted rate ratio 1·12 [95% CI 0·91–1·37]) and 155 (88%) in the BRII-196 plus BRII-198 group (1·08 [0·88–1·32]). The composite safety outcome up to day 90 was met by 48 (27%) patients in the placebo group, 42 (23%) in the sotrovimab group, and 45 (26%) in the BRII-196 plus BRII-198 group. 13 (7%) patients in the placebo group, 14 (8%) in the sotrovimab group, and 15 (9%) in the BRII-196 plus BRII-198 group died up to day 90.

Interpretation Neither sotrovimab nor BRII-196 plus BRII-198 showed efficacy for improving clinical outcomes among adults hospitalised with COVID-19.

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Douglas Bryce Farrow, Professor of Theology and Ethics, McGill, Montréal.

“Yet here we are: masked, isolated, feastless and party-less, sent back online to begin winter term, because this response to COVID has proved the abject failure that honest scientists warned from the outset it would be.”

The Mask and the Face (Farrow)

Dear […] Thank you for responding on behalf of the provost, and for passing on the congratulatory letter to our students from the city’s director of Public Health. As you know, in any McGill communication I receive, I don’t read past the point where it begins offering me unsolicited medical advice, which is beyond the university’s competence and which I have made clear I regard as a form of harassment. But this letter, being from an external bureaucrat, I read through with some interest. I was struck by this line: “La vaccination demeure le geste civique le plus efficace pour préserver nos acquis de cet automne.” “Vaccination remains the most effective civic gesture to preserve our achievements this autumn.” What remarkable transparency and simplicity!

Vaccination—or, more accurately, an experimental injection with lipid nanoparticles of uncertain and possibly toxic effect on bodily tissues, used as a delivery system for genetic instructions designed to reprogram certain cells so as to cause them to produce an unknown quantity of a spike-protein pathogen with equally uncertain, but certainly dangerous, effects on the immune system and on other crucial systems, circulatory, nervous, reproductive, etc.—has, mirabile dictu, become le geste civique. Then again, what else could it become? For plainly it has not become a means of prevention of the spread of a coronavirus, even allowing (as I do not) that preventing spread is a rational and achievable goal. The latest iteration of the virus appears, if anything, to prefer the vaccinated.

Isn’t that convenient? Omicron is highly transmissible but not very severe, so according to the new definition of a “pandemic,” onwards and upwards with pandemic measures! Perhaps the achievement of which Dre. Drouin speaks, then, is merely that of putting the first two needles in every arm, as a prelude to the many more that are to come? With your help, she’s certainly done well with that. Yet here we are: masked, isolated, feastless and party-less, sent back online to begin winter term, because this response to COVID has proved the abject failure that honest scientists warned from the outset it would be. The Great Reset—sorry, the dangerous pandemic—rolls on, with no end in sight. One of your administrative colleagues at a nearby university told some of her professorial charges, who had expressed concern about the psychological and pedagogical well-being of their students, to expect three or four more years of this. I hope there will be some annual variation in the congratulatory note, particularly as the needle count rises and morale drops still more precipitously.

COVID vaccination was always primarily a civic gesture, of course, for it was never medically justified or justifiable for the majority of people, especially young people like our students. That this gesture has been elicited from the latter by manipulation, censorship, bullying and in some sectors coercion, not only of adults but now even of young children, requires one to ask what sort of gesture it really is and what kind of civic life it points toward. So does the fact that, together with associated policies such as lockdowns and denials of early treatment, it has plainly done far more harm than good. You do know, I trust, that in far too many cases the harm was permanent or fatal. That (as FOIA requests have confirmed) is something that was known to Pfizer from early days, and to the regulatory agencies by, at the latest, three months into the rollout.

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The death rate last week of 1.64 per million was down by a god-is-apparently-smiling 91%

Patriotic Duty My Eye (David Stockman)

Rough Rider Teddy must be rolling in his grave as he looks down upon these poseurs gathered in the Roosevelt room. For crying out loud, every one of them is double vaxxed and totally boosted. And they have issued orders to force the same upon more than 130 million of their countrymen—allegedly to prevent the latter from becoming walking vectors of disease and killers of their neighbors. Yet if the Vaxx is actually a spread stopper, why do they sit there in their masks? What’s the need to protect Biden from Fauci when the sainted doctor is armed to the teeth with vaxxed-in antibodies? And why is Biden festooned with the medical equivalent of Depends when he’s already got the accident-prevention protection of the Vaxx?

Or does he? That is to say, if it doesn’t work to stop the spread, the benefit is only private and not public and hence there is no earthly reason for mandating it against the will of millions of citizens who fear that the risks outweigh the benefits. And if it does stop the spread—despite the manifest evidence to the contrary—-why all the face mask virtue signalling on live TV? In short, this “photo op” is worth a thousand words. It’s a live action illustration of what’s been wrong since the beginning in March 2020. Namely, the predicate that one-size-fits all social control mechanisms—lockdowns, closures, distancing, masking, vaxxing—must be preemptively and harshly employed by arms of the state in order to stop the spread of an aerosolized airborne virus which cannot be seen and cannot be stopped.

Indeed, the latest argument for mandatory vaxxing—-that it prevents not transmission and infection but just a serious course of the disease—makes the picture patently absurd. What are these cats afraid of then? The real contagion at loose in the world—especially among the western nations which noisily congratulate themselves as model liberal democracies to be emulated by the more benighted nations inhabiting the purported darker corners of the planet—is a virulent outbreak of statist authoritarianism. That is, a definitely not Black Plague virus of the type that has challenged mankind o’er the ages has become a universal excuse for the wholesale cancellation of civil liberties and property rights like never before—even in times of world war.

Take the pathetic case of the United Kingdom. It is governed by a Conservative Party that’s traitorous to the cause of liberty and led by an unkempt Donald Trump wanna be who has assaulted the essence of liberal democracy to such a sweeping extent that his most authoritarian predecessors (i.e. Winston Churchill, among others) scarcely dreamed of it and the Donald himself couldn’t hold a candle to it. BoJo, in fact, is right now hauling out all the tools of public health authoritarianism in response to what amounts to a run-of-the-mill winter flu among the British population. And that latter proposition is not debatable. Not when you compare the peak January data, when virtually no one was vaccinated compared to 80% of adult Brits today, with the 7-day rolling averages through last week. Thus,

The case rate last week was 1,138 per million or 30% higher than the 875 per million recorded at the January 2021 peaks, but–
The death rate last week of 1.64 per million was down by a god-is-apparently-smiling 91% compared to the 18.21 rate at the January 2021 peak.

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“..immune memory to many viruses and vaccines is stable over decades, if not for a lifetime.”

If You’ve Had COVID You’re Likely Protected for Life (Mercola)

If you’ve had COVID-19, even a mild case, major congratulations to you as you’ve more than likely got long-term immunity, according to a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine. In fact, you’re likely to be immune for life, as is the case with recovery from many infectious agents — once you’ve had the disease and recovered, you’re immune, most likely for life. The evidence is strong and promising, and should be welcome and comforting news to a public that has spent the last year, 2020, in a panic over SARS-CoV-2. Increasingly evidence is showing that long-lasting immunity exists. Seasonal coronaviruses, some of which cause common colds, yield only short-lived protective immunity, with reinfections occurring six to 12 months after the previous infection.

Early data on SARS-CoV-2 also found that antibody titers declined rapidly in the first months after recovery from COVID-19, leading some to speculate that protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 may also be short-lived. Senior author of the study, Ali Ellebedy, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, pointed out that this assumption is flawed, stating in a news release: “Last fall, there were reports that antibodies waned quickly after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, and mainstream media interpreted that to mean that immunity was not long-lived. But that’s a misinterpretation of the data. It’s normal for antibody levels to go down after acute infection, but they don’t go down to zero; they plateau.”

The researchers found a biphasic pattern of antibody concentrations against SARS-CoV-2, in which high antibody concentrations were found in the acute immune response that occurred at the time of initial infection. The antibodies declined in the first months after infection, as should be expected, then leveled off to about 10% to 20% of the maximum concentration detected. In a commentary on the study, Andreas Radbruch and Hyun-Dong Chang of the German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin explained: “This is consistent with the expectation that 10–20% of the plasma cells in an acute immune reaction become memory plasma cells, and is a clear indication of a shift from antibody production by short-lived plasma cells to antibody production by memory plasma cells. This is not unexpected, given that immune memory to many viruses and vaccines is stable over decades, if not for a lifetime.”

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Add to the list.

Ontario List Fluvoxamine As A Covid-19 Treatment To Consider (CTV)

Ontario has become the first province to list an inexpensive and well-known antidepressant as a treatment doctors can “consider” for patients with a mild COVID-19 infection in a bid to keep them out of hospital. In the science table listing on Wednesday, a panel indicated that the drug fluvoxamine can be considered and prescribed to patients with a mild case who are at risk of having more severe symptoms. Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant that is typically used to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. “Right now, we’re in a really unprecedented wave of Omicron and we have just a staggering number of patients getting infected,” Dr. Menaka Pai, associate professor of medicine at McMaster University and co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, told CTV News.


“Our goal is to keep them safe, to keep them out of hospital and also to preserve our scarcest resource, which I would say is our hospital beds.” The drug costs a little more than a dollar a day and would be taken for 15 days, starting with a small dose. In comparison, the antivirals medicines from Pfizer and Merck cost nearly $1,000 dollars per patient. Studies have shown that the drug can cut hospital admissions due to COVID-19 by up to 30 per cent. “When you look at all that data together, it is very likely that fluvoxamine prevents hospitalization in patients with mild COVID-19,” Pai said. “So patients who are not yet on oxygen, and if our goal in this wave of the pandemic is to stop patients with COVID from ending up in those scarce hospital beds, then that I think is a very important finding, indeed.”

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“A fixture on the WHO’s list of 100 essential medicines all hospital systems are recommended to carry..”

A Myth is Born: How CDC, FDA, and Media Wove a Web of Ivermectin Lies (Resc.)

When a Texas cattleman, seventy-nine, died last September in New Mexico after contracting covid, his family never anticipated the worldwide headlines that would ensue. In a ballyhooed press conference, New Mexico Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase, the state’s top health chief, announced New Mexico’s first ivermectin “overdose,” soon adding a second fatality allegedly from “ivermectin toxicity.” Now, Scrase has acknowledged that his repeated, what he called “offhand,” assertions were groundless. Two deaths were not caused by ivermectin, a long-used generic drug that was emerging as a covid treatment. Instead, he said that the pair died because they “actually just delayed their care with covid.” That is a big difference.

Scrase backpedaled on December 1 in a little-noticed online press briefing and only after we pressed his agency to provide evidence for its claims of so-called “ivermectin deaths.” Officials had repeatedly said they were awaiting a toxicology report on the cattleman’s death. Yet we learned that the report was never even ordered or done, and, moreover, the man’s death was ruled by the state’s coroner as being from “natural” causes. Not a single media outlet reported Scrase’s admission, even as dozens, including the The Hill and The New York Times, had eagerly covered his original assertions about ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015. “I don’t want more people to die,” read one early headline, quoting Scrase. “It’s the wrong medicine for something really serious,” Scrase said in the Times article.

Doctors, scientists, and toxicologists worldwide were puzzled by the assertions, because ivermectin is an extraordinarily safe, FDA-approved drug. A fixture on the WHO’s list of 100 essential medicines all hospital systems are recommended to carry, nearly four billion doses have been given in four decades. New Mexico became a key player in a broad pattern of governmental deception late last summer to portray ivermectin as dangerous, in tandem with three related developments. Research strongly supported the drug’s efficacy against covid; prescriptions were soaring; and public health officials were single-mindedly focused not on treatment but on vaccination.

We previously reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s tweeted warning last August against using ivermectin meant for livestock was prompted by incorrect—and unverified—information from Mississippi. Health officials there had posted an alert suggesting the state’s poison control center was deluged with hundreds of calls over ingestion of livestock ivermectin; in reality, we found, four reports were received. But, fueled by bits of contorted evidence like this, the anti-ivermectin train was unstoppable. We have now learned that, in the rush to bury a drug described as “astonishingly safe” and long used globally to quell animal and human parasites, FDA was not alone.

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CNN turns on Biden?!

‘Biden Seems Confused’: CNN Question President’s Cognitive Health (DM)

A CNN correspondent said Wednesday that Joe Biden ‘seemed confused’ in his ABC News interview earlier this week, when the president appeared to mix up COVID-19 at-home tests and antiviral pills. Biden, 79, spoke to ABC’s David Muir for 20 minutes in an interview that aired on Wednesday and defended his administration against criticism of its handling of the pandemic and readiness for the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, but also admitting that there were certain mistakes made. When asked about complaints that the lines to get tested for COVID-19 were excessive, with waits of over five hours in New York City as one example, Biden said that 500 million at-home tests had been ordered.

But several times he referred to the tests as ‘pills’ – potentially thinking of the Pfizer antiviral pills, which were federally approved on the same day. ‘Repeatedly throughout this interview – President Biden seems confused and was confusing the half a billion tests that they’ve ordered with a half a billion pills,’ said Jeff Zeleny, CNN’s chief national affairs correspondent. ‘Of course, pills were in the news today with the Pfizer approval of the anti-viral, so he corrected himself, but that was one thing that stuck out to me.’ Zeleny, appearing on Wolf Blitzer’s show on Wednesday afternoon, accused Biden of ‘really not accepting any responsibility’ for the lack of testing. Biden, asked whether the administration should not have seen Omicron coming and prepared accordingly, said ‘nobody saw it coming’.

Defiant, the president said they were doing the best they could. Zeleny said it was not enough. ‘Simply, this administration, and the president leading the charge here, really not accepting any responsibility at all for this lack of testing,’ Zeleny said. ‘We’ve seen these images across the country, long lines, just the inability to get tests. ‘And yes, Omicron came on very quickly here, but it has been almost a month since Thanksgiving where they knew this was coming. ‘So he said he wishes he could have acted faster, and then explains why he didn’t.’

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And Newsweek turns too…

Fauci et al Withheld Information on China’s Coronavirus Experiments (NW)

The NIH fought for more than a year to keep details about the EcoHealth grant under wraps. The 528 pages of proposals, conditions, emails, and progress reports revealed that EcoHealth had funded experiments at the WIV that were considerably riskier than the ones previously disclosed. The trouble began in May 2016, when EcoHealth informed the NIH that it wanted to conduct a series of new experiments during the third year of its five-year grant. One proposed producing “chimeras” made from one SARS-like virus and the spike proteins (which the virus uses to infiltrate animal cells) of others, and testing them in “humanized” mice, which had been genetically engineered to have human-like receptors in their lungs, making them better stand-ins for people. When such novel viruses are created, there is always a risk they will turn out to be dangerous pathogens in their own right.

Another risky experiment involved the MERS virus. Although MERS is lethal—it kills 35 percent of those who catch it—it’s not highly transmissible, which is partly why it has claimed fewer than 900 lives so far. EcoHealth wanted to graft the spikes of other related coronaviruses onto MERS to see how that changed its abilities. Both experiments seemed to cross the gain-of-function line. NIH program officers said as much, sending Daszak a letter asking him to explain why he thought they didn’t. In his reply, Daszak argued that because the new spikes being added to the chimeras were more distantly related to SARS and MERS than their original spikes, he didn’t anticipate any enhanced pathogenicity or infectiousness. That was a key distinction that arguably made them exempt from the NIH’s prohibition on gain-of-function experiments.

But, of course, one never knows; as a precaution, he offered that if any of the chimeric viruses began to grow 10 times better than the natural viruses, which would suggest enhanced fitness, EcoHealth would immediately stop all experiments, inform the NIH program officers, and together they’d figure out what to do next. The NIH accepted Daszak’s terms, inserting his suggestions into the grant conditions. Scientists at WIV conducted the experiments in 2018. To their surprise, the SARS-like chimeras quickly grew 10,000 times better than the natural virus, flourishing in the lab’s humanized mice and making them sicker than the original. They had the hallmarks of very dangerous pathogens.

WIV and EcoHealth did not stop the experiment as required. Nor did they let the NIH know what was going on. The results were buried in figure 35 of EcoHealth’s year-four progress report, delivered in April 2018. Did the NIH call Peter Daszak in to explain himself? It did not. There are no signs in the released documents that the NIH even noticed the alarming results. In fact, NIH signaled its enthusiasm for the project by granting EcoHealth a $7.5 million, five-year renewal in 2019. (The Trump administration suspended the grant in 2020, when EcoHealth’s relationship with the WIV came under scrutiny.)

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Because airports over the holidays were not chaotic enough yet..

US Airlines Cancel Hundreds Of Flights Scheduled For Friday (DM)

Hundreds of Christmas Eve flights have been canceled as the fast-spreading Omicron variant takes a toll on flight crews and other workers. Chicago-based United Airlines has canceled at least 120 flights for Friday, while Atlanta-based Delta said it has canceled about 90 and Alaska Airlines said it had canceled 17. United and Delta said they were working to contact passengers so they would not be stranded at airports. ‘The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,’ United said.


At least one of the airlines is making it clear that COVID is responsible for the cancellations. When accessing a cancelled flight on United’s website, the following message pops up: ‘Your flight is canceled due to an increase in Covid cases limiting crew availability. We’re sorry for disrupting your holiday plans and for the inconvenience.’ Delta said it has ‘exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before canceling around 90 flights for Friday.’ Delta cited potential inclement weather and the impact of the Omicron variant for the cancellations. Notably, American and Alaska had said they would comply with President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government contractors, while Delta’s CEO had promised to fight the rule.

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“..We were put in a situation where we could not do otherwise..”

Putin Reveals Thinking Behind 2014 Moves In Crimea (RT)

Before the Maidan in 2014, Moscow was happy to work closely with all Ukrainian governments and had no plan to take any action in Crimea. However, this changed when a democratically elected leader was overthrown, the Russian president said on Thursday. Speaking to journalists at his annual end-of-year press conference at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow, Putin said he would have continued working closely with Ukrainian partners if there hadn’t been a “bloody coup d’etat,” in which people were “killed and burned.” The current tension between Russia and Ukraine began following the events of the 2014 Maidan, when violent street protests toppled a democratically elected government. Shortly after the uprising in Kiev, Crimea was reabsorbed into Russia following a referendum. The vast majority of the world considers the vote illegitimate and views the peninsula as illegally occupied by Moscow.


Before the Maidan, reabsorbing Crimea was not even on the cards, the Russian president said. “How could we say no to Sevastopol and Crimea, to the people who live there? How could we not take them under our protection, under our wing? Impossible. We were put in a situation where we could not do otherwise,” Putin said. The president also referred to a decision by the Soviet Union to create the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which saw new borders created inside what was formerly the Russian Empire. According to Putin, those living in Crimea, as well as in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, were not given a choice of which country they belonged to, and many of those locals wished to be Russian. “They created a country which never existed before,” he claimed, suggesting that today’s crises are ripple effects from that decision.

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