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Dr. Volodymyr & Mr. Zelensky: the Hidden Face of the Ukrainian President


Dr. Volodymyr & Mr. Zelensky: the hidden face of the Ukrainian president

The Swiss deputy and former editor-in-chief of the Tribune de Genève, Guy Mettan paints a portrait of the mountebank who plays the role of President of Ukraine. It shows how this public entertainer has turned into an ally of the banderists and has set up a dictatorship for them.

Volodymyr Zelensky

Heroes of Freedom”, “Hero of Our Time”, “Der Unbeugsame”, “The Unlikely Ukrainian Hero Who Defied Putin and United the World”, “Zelensky, Ukraine in Blood”: Western Media and Leaders no longer know what superlatives to use to sing the praises of the Ukrainian president, so fascinated are they by the “astounding resilience” of the actor miraculously transformed into a “warlord” and a “savior of democracy”.

For three months, the Ukrainian head of state has been on the front page of magazines, on television, inaugurating the Cannes Film Festival, haranguing parliaments, congratulating and admonishing his colleagues at the head of states ten times more powerful than him with a happiness and a tactical sense that no film actor or political leader before him had known.

How not to fall under the spell of this improbable Mr. Bean who, after having conquered the public with his grimaces and his extravagances (walking around naked in a store and miming a pianist playing with his penis for example), knew in one night swap his gritty antics and puns for a grey-green T-shirt, a week-long beard and serious words to galvanize his troops beset by the evil Russian bear?

Since February 24, Volodymyr Zelensky has unquestionably given proof that he was an artist of international politics with exceptional talents. Those who had followed his comedy career were not surprised because they knew his innate sense of improvisation, his mimetic faculties, his daring acting. December 2018 and April 21, 2019, yet tough opponents like former President Poroshenko, by mobilizing his production team and his generous oligarch donors, had already proven the extent of his talents. But it remained to transform the trial. Which is now done.

TALENT FOR DOUBLE PLAY

However, as is often the case, the facade rarely resembles the backstage. The spotlight hides more than it shows. And there, it is clear that the picture is less rosy: both his achievements as head of state and his performance as a defender of democracy leave something to be desired.

This talent for the double game, Zelensky will show it as soon as he is elected. We recall that he was elected with the cannon score of 73.2% of the votes, promising to put an end to corruption, to lead Ukraine on the path of progress and civilization, and above all to make peace with the Russian speakers of Donbass. As soon as elected, he will betray all his promises with such untimely zeal that his popularity rating will drop to 23% in January 2022, to the point of being outdistanced by his two main opponents.

From May 2019, to satisfy his oligarch sponsors, the newly elected launched a massive land privatization program covering 40 million hectares of good agricultural land under the pretext that the moratorium on the sale of land would have lost billions of dollars to the country’s GDP. In the wake of the decommunization” and “derussification” programs initiated since the pro-US coup of February 2014, he launched a vast operation of privatization of state assets, budgetary austerity, deregulation labor laws and the dismantling of unions, which angers a majority of Ukrainians who did not understand what their candidate meant by “progress“, “Westernization” and “normalization” of the Ukrainian economy. In a country which, in 2020, posted a per capita income of 3,726 dollars against 10,126 dollars for the Russian adversary, while in 1991 the average income of Ukraine exceeded that of Russia, the comparison is not not flattering. And we understand that the Ukrainians did not applaud this umpteenth neoliberal reform.

As for the march towards civilization, it will take the form of another decree which, on May 19, 2021, ensures the domination of the Ukrainian language and banishes Russian in all spheres of public life, administrations, schools and businesses, much to the satisfaction of nationalists and the amazement of Russian speakers in the southeast of the country.

A SPONSOR ON THE RUN

In terms of corruption, the record is no better. In 2015, the Guardian estimated that Ukraine was the most corrupt country in Europe (ER: We don’t understand how Ukraine is in ‘Europe’. But this Worldometer (UN) link shows that even RUSSIA is in Europe. We’re baffled). In 2021, Transparency International, a Western NGO based in Berlin, ranked Ukraine 122nd in the world for corruption, close to hated Russia (136th). Not brilliant for a country that passes for a paragon of virtue against the Russian barbarians. Corruption is everywhere, in ministries, administrations, public companies, parliament, the police, and even in the High Court of Anti-Corruption Justice according to the Kyiv Post! It is not uncommon to see judges driving a Porsche, observe the newspapers.

Zelensky’s main sponsor, Ihor Kolomoisky, residing in Geneva where he has luxurious offices overlooking the harbour, is not the least of these oligarchs who profit from the ambient corruption: on

March 5, 2021, Anthony Blinken, who probably could not do otherwise, announced that the State Department had frozen his assets and banned him from the United States because of “an implication in a significant act of corruption “. It is true that Kolomoisky was accused of having embezzled 5.5 billion dollars from the public bank Privatbank. Mere coincidence, the good Ihor was also the main shareholder of the Burisma oil holding company which employed the son of Joe Biden, Hunter, for a modest compensation of 50,000 dollars per month, and which is today the subject of an investigation by the Delaware attorney. Wise precaution: Kolomoisky, who has become persona non grata in Israel and a refugee in Georgia according to some witnesses, does not risk coming to testify at the bar.

It is this same Kolomoisky, decidedly unavoidable in this Ukraine on the road to progress, who made Zelensky’s entire acting career and who we find involved in the Pandora Papers affair, revealed by the press in October 2021. These papers revealed that since 2012, the TV channel 1+1 belonging to the sulphurous oligarch had paid no less than 40 million dollars to its star Zelensky since 2012 and that the latter, shortly before d being elected president and with the help of his close guard from Kryvyi Rih – the two Shefir brothers, one of whom is the author of Zelenski’s scripts and the other the head of the State Security Service (SBU), and the producer and owner of their joint production company Kvartal 95 – had cautiously transferred considerable sums to offshore accounts opened in his wife’s name, while acquiring three undeclared apartments in London for the sum of 7.5 million dollars.

This taste of the “servant of the people” (this is the name of his television series and his political party) for non-proletarian comfort is confirmed by a photo that briefly appeared on social networks and was immediately erased by anti-proletarian fact-checkers – conspirators, which showed him taking his ease in a tropical palace at a few tens of thousands of dollars a night when he was supposed to spend his winter vacation in a modest ski resort in the Carpathians.

This art of tax optimization and this assiduous association with controversial oligarchs do not therefore plead in favor of an unconditional presidential commitment against corruption. No more than the fact of having tried to knock out the President of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Tupytskyi, who bothered him, and appointed Prime Minister, after the departure of his predecessor Oleksyi Hontcharouk because of scandal, an unknown named Denys Chmynal but who had the merit of running one of the factories of the richest man in the country, Rinat Akhmetov, owner of the famous Azovstal factory, the ultimate refuge of the heroic freedom fighters of the Azov Battalion. Fighters who wear tattoos glorifying the Wolfsangel on their arms, necks, backs or chests of the SS Das Reich division , phrases from Adolf Hitler or swastikas, as we could see on the countless videos released by the Russians after their surrender.

HOSTAGE OF THE AZOV BATTALIONS

For the rapprochement of the flamboyant Volodymyr with the most extreme representatives of the Ukrainian nationalist right is not the least of Dr. Zelensky’s oddities. This complicity was immediately denied with the greatest virulence by the Western press, which considered it scandalous because of the Jewish origins of the president, suddenly rediscovered. How could a Jewish president sympathize with neo-Nazis, otherwise presented as a tiny minority of marginalized people? All the same, we should not give credit to the “denazification” operation carried out by Vladimir Putin…

And yet the facts are stubborn and far from trivial.

It is certain that, personally, Zelensky was never close to neo-Nazi ideology or even to the Ukrainian nationalist extreme right. His Jewish ancestry, even if it is relatively distant and was never claimed before February 2022, obviously excludes any anti-Semitism on his part. This rapprochement therefore does not betray an affinity but is a matter of banal raison d’etat and a well-understood mixture of pragmatism and instinct for physical and political survival.

You have to go back to October 2019 to understand the nature of the relationship between Zelensky and the far right. And it must be understood that these far-right formations, even if they weigh only 2% of the electorate, still represent nearly a million highly motivated and well-organized people who are divided into numerous groups. and movements, of which the Azov regiment (co-founded and financed in 2014 by Kolomoisky, still him!) is only the best known. The Aïdar, Dnipro, Safari, Svoboda, Pravy Sektor, C14 and National Corps organizations must be added to it to be complete.

C14, so named because of the word count of American neo-Nazi David Lane’s phrase (“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children“), is one of the least known abroad but most feared for its racist violence in Ukraine. All these groups were more or less merged into the Ukrainian army and national guard on the initiative of their leader, the former interior minister Arsen Avakov, who reigned supreme over the Ukrainian security apparatus from 2014 to 2021. They are what Zelensky calls “veterans since the fall of 2019.”

A few months after his election, the young president indeed went to the Donbass to try to fulfill his electoral promise and enforce the Minsk agreements signed by his predecessor. The far-right forces, which have been pounding the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk since 2014 at the cost of ten thousand deaths, welcome him with the greatest circumspection because they are wary of this “pacifist” president. They wage a ruthless campaign against peace under the slogan “No Surrender“. On a video, we see a pale Zelensky imploring them: “I am the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I am not a loser. I come to you and say to you: withdraw the weapons.” The video is released on social networks and Zelensky immediately becomes the target of a hate campaign. It will be the end of his desire for peace and the application of the Minsk agreements.

Shortly after this incident, a minor withdrawal of extremist forces took place, then the bombardments resumed with renewed vigour.

NATIONALIST CRUSADE

The problem is that not only has Zelensky given in to their blackmail, but he is joining them in their nationalist crusade. After his failed expedition, in November 2019, he received several far-right leaders, including Yehven Taras, the leader of the C14, while his Prime Minister appeared alongside Andryi Medvedko, a neo-Nazi figure suspected of murder. He also backs footballer Zolzulya against Spanish fans who accuse him of being a Nazi because of his professed support for Stepan Bandera, the nationalist leader who collaborated with Nazi Germany during the war (and with the CIA after the war) and participated in the Jewish Holocaust.

Collaboration with nationalist radicals is well established. In November last year, Zelensky appointed the ultra-nationalist Pravy Sektor Dmytro Yarosh special adviser to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army and, since February 2022, leader of the Volunteer Army, which reigns terror in the back. At the same time, he appointed Oleksander Poklad, nicknamed “the strangler” because of his taste for torture, head of the SBU’s counterintelligence. In December, two months before the war, it was the turn of another leader of Pravy Sektor, Major Dmytro Kotsuybaylo, to be awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine” while, a week after the start of hostilities, Zelensky had the regional governor of Odessa replaced by Maksym Marchenko, commander of the ultranationalist Aidar battalion, the very man with whom Bernard-Henri Lévy would take pride in parading.

Desire to appease the far right by giving it positions? Shared ultra-patriotism? Or simple convergence of interest between a neoliberal Atlanticist and pro-Western right and an extreme nationalist right which dreams of breaking Russia and “leading the white races of the world in a final crusade against the Untermenschen guided by the Semites “, according to the words of former MP Andryi Biletsky, head of the National Corps? We do not really know, no journalist having ventured to ask the question to Zelensky.

What is beyond doubt, however, is the increasingly authoritarian, even criminal, drift of the Ukrainian regime. So much so that his zealots should think twice before proposing their idol for the Nobel Peace Prize. Because, while the media look elsewhere, it is a real campaign of intimidation, kidnappings and executions that local and national elected officials are undergoing, suspected of being Russian agents or of colluding with the enemy because they want to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

One less traitor in Ukraine!” We found him killed and he was judged by the people’s court! This is how the adviser to the Minister of the Interior, Anton Gerashenko, announced on his Telegram account the murder of Volodymyr Strok, mayor and former deputy of the small town of Kremnina. Suspected of having collaborated with the Russians, he was kidnapped and then tortured before being executed. On March 7, it was the turn of the mayor of Gostomel to be killed because he had wanted to negotiate a humanitarian corridor with the Russian military. On March 24, it was the mayor of Kupyansk who asked Zelensky to release his daughter, who had been kidnapped by SBU henchmen. At the same time, one of the Ukrainian negotiators is found dead after being accused of treason by the nationalist media. No less than eleven mayors are missing to date, including in regions never occupied by the Russians…

OPPOSITION PARTIES BANNED

But the repression does not stop there. It hits the critical media, which have all been closed, and the opposition parties, which have all been dissolved.

In February 2021, Zelensky shut down three opposition channels deemed pro-Russian and believed to belong to oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, NewsOne, Zik and 112 Ukraine. The State Department welcomes this attack on press freedom by declaring that the United States supports Ukrainian efforts to counter the malign influence of Russia… In January 2022, a month before the war, it is the turn of the Nash chain to be closed. After the start of the war, the regime hunted down left-wing journalists, bloggers and commentators. At the beginning of April, two right-wing channels were also affected, Channel 5 and Pryamiy. A presidential decree obliges all channels to broadcast a single story, pro-government of course. Recently the witch hunt has even extended to the country’s most popular critical blogger, the Ukrainian Navalny, Anatoliy Shariy, who was arrested on May 4 by the Spanish authorities at the request of the Ukrainian political police. Attacks on the press at least equivalent to those of the autocrat Putin, but of which we have never heard of in the Western media…

The purge was even more severe for political parties, which decimated the main opponents of Zelensky. In the spring of 2021, the home of the main of them, Medvedchuk, reputed to be close to Putin, was ransacked and its owner placed under house arrest. On April 12, the oligarch deputy was forcibly interned in a secret place, visibly drugged, deprived of visits before being exhibited on TV and offered in exchange for the release of the defenders of Azovstal, in defiance of all the Geneva conventions. His lawyers, threatened, had to give up defending him in favor of someone close to the services.

Last December, it was Petro Poroshenko, who was rising in the polls, who was accused of treason. On December 20, 2021 at 3:07 p.m., the official website of the SBU read that he was suspected of having committed crimes of treason and support for terrorist activities. The former president, who was nevertheless a fanatical anti-Russian, was criticized “for having made Ukraine energetically dependent on Russia and the leaders of the pseudo-Republics under Russian control.”

On March 3, it was left activists Lizvizia who were raided by the SBU and imprisoned by the dozens. Then on March 19, repression hits the entire Ukrainian left. By decree, eleven left-wing parties are banned, namely the Party for Life, the Left Opposition, the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Union of Left Forces, the Socialists, the Sharyi Party, Ours, Opposition Bloc, Volodymyr Saldo Bloc.

Other activists, bloggers and human rights defenders were arrested and tortured, journalist Yan Taksyur, activist Elena Brezhnaya, MMA boxer Maxim Ryndovskiy and lawyer Elena Viacheslavova, whose father was burnt to death in the pogrom of May 2, 2014 at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

To complete this list, we will also mention these men and women stripped and whipped in public by the nationalists in the streets of Kyiv, these Russian prisoners who were beaten and whose legs were shot before being executed, this soldier who had been pierced in an eye before killing him, those members of the Georgian Legion who executed Russian prisoners in a village near Kyiv while their leader boasted of never taking a prisoner. On the Ukraine 24 channel, it is the head of the army’s medical service who indicates that he gave the order “to castrate all Russian men because they are sub-humans worse than cockroaches.” Finally, Ukraine is making extensive use of Clearview’s facial recognition technology to identify Russian dead and disseminate their photos on Russian social networks, making fun of them…

AN OSCAR-WINNING ACTOR

We could multiply the examples, so many are the quotes and videos of atrocities committed by the troops of the defender of democracy and human rights who presides over the destiny of Ukraine. But it would be tedious and counter-productive with public opinion convinced that these barbaric behaviors are solely due to the Russians.

This is why no NGO is alarmed, the Council of Europe remains silent, the International Criminal Court does not investigate, organizations for the defense of freedom of the press remain silent. They didn’t listen well to what the kind Volodymyr told them during a visit to Butcha in early April: “If we don’t find a civilized way out, you know our people, they will find an uncivilized way out.”

Ukraine’s problem is that its president, willingly or unwillingly, ceded his power to extremists at home and to NATO soldiers abroad to indulge in the pleasure of being adored by the crowds around the world. Was it not he who declared to a French journalist on March 5, ten days after the Russian invasion:

Today, my life is beautiful. I believe that I am wanted. I feel that this is the most important meaning of my life: to be wanted. Feeling that you are not casually breathing, walking and eating something. You live !

We told you: Zelenski is a great actor. Like his predecessor who played Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hide in 1932, he deserves to win the Oscar for best male role of the decade. But when he must tackle the task of rebuilding his country devastated by a war he could have avoided in 2019, the return to reality may be difficult.

Sources
« The Comedian-Turned-President is Seriously in Over His Head », Olga Rudenko, New York Times, February 21, 2022 (Opinion Guest from Kyyiv Post).
« How Zelensky made Peace With Neo-Nazis », and « Zelensky’s Hardline Internal Purge », Alex Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal, Consortium News, March 4 and April 20, 2022.
« Olga Baysha Interview about Ukraine’s President », Natylie Baldwin, The Grayzone, April 28, 2022.
« President of Ukraine Zelensky has visited disengaging area in Zolote today », @Liveupmap, 26 October 2019 (Watch on Twitter).
“  What is the Azov regiment?  », Adrien Nonjon, The Conversation , May 24, 2022.
« Public Designation of Oligarch and Former Ukrainian Public Official Ihor Kolomoyskyy Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption », Press statement, Anthony J. Blinken, US Department of State, March 5, 2021.
« Petro Poroshenko notified of suspicion of treason and aiding terrorism », Security Service of Ukraine, 20 December 2021.
”  A pro-Russian Ukrainian mayor kidnapped and shot  “, Michel Pralong, Le Matin , March 3, 2022,

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Desperate EU Leaders Attempting to Fast-Track Ukraine Candidate Status


ER Editor: ‘Desperate’ is indeed the word. Other reports are picking up on the fact that these useless EU leaders are quietly asking Zelensky to negotiate with Putin, who’s winning hands down militarily, because sanctions are causing too much economic damage at home while the Russian economy is doing just fine. See Scholz, Macron and Draghi likely asked Zelensky to resume negotiations with  Putin. As usual, EU membership – candidate status – is the carrot. Which never seems to happen. A cruel trick, according to Alexander Mercouris, who explains this in detail.

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Desperate EU Leaders Attempting to Fast-Track Ukraine Candidate Status

21CENTURY WIRE

As support for the Ukrainian proxy war begins to fade, desperate European leaders are now lobbying to allow Kiev to jump the queue for membership to the superstate. 

Leading the charge to integrate the NATO-backed quasi-Nazi regime is none other than the French President Emmanuel Macron, whose own popularity is declining in France, and yet he’s now demanding immediate Ukrainian entry into the ‘Club of Brussels’, insisting that enough members are in support of this provocative move.

One of the primary motivations for this desperate manoeuver by the EU is the fact that Ukraine is losing in grand fashion, with reports acknowledging that NATO’s proxy war of attrition is costing Ukraine some 1,000 casualties per day in Donbas alone, according to Ukrainian officials. For this reason, the Zelensky regime’s popularity in Ukraine has plummeted and there are very real fears now that he may soon be ousted by a rival faction wanting to end Washington and London’s open-ended proxy war against Russia.

An announcement that Ukraine will enter the EU may boost national morale and placate the Maidan crowd, and also help the Zelensky regime win the support of Ukraine’s powerful organized crime syndicates who view EU membership as a windfall opportunity for their illicit trafficking of drugs, people, sex and organs in the EU.

RT International reports…

French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that Germany, France, Italy and Romania are all in favor of granting Ukraine immediate EU-candidate status, following a joint meeting between the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the four EU leaders in Kiev on Thursday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis arrived in Ukraine this morning to hold talks with Zelensky at the Presidential Palace in Kiev.

After the talks concluded, the visiting leaders held a press conference at which they announced the results of the talks and expressed support for Ukraine amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia.

Macron was first to announce that all the present EU members were in support of granting Ukraine immediate candidate status to join the European Union.

He also added that France will deliver six additional long-range Ceasar guns to Ukraine on top of the 12 Ceasars that have already been delivered.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that he’d come to Ukraine with a clear message – that Ukraine belongs in the European family and that Germany will support a positive decision on Ukraine and Moldova’s EU membership accession.

Italy’s Draghi also expressed support for Ukraine’s candidate status, stating that “We are at a turning point in our history. The Ukrainian people defend every day the values of democracy and freedom that underpin the European project, our project. We cannot wait. We cannot delay this process.”

The Italian leader also addressed the destruction Ukraine has endured during this conflict, stating that “they destroyed the nurseries, the playgrounds”. He vowed, however, that Ukraine will be rebuilt with European help.

Meanwhile, Zelensky urged the visiting leaders to put more pressure on Russia and accept a new, seventh package of sanctions against Moscow, arguing that its aggression is an attack against all of Europe.

The Ukrainian leader also insisted that the more weapons his country got from Western nations, the faster it will be able to liberate its occupied territories.

READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files

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The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

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Ukraine’s Military Nuclear Program


ER Editor: Here is a little Wikipedia information about Ukraine’s main nuclear power plant. A reminder that Ukraine is NOT in Europe:

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station (UkrainianЗапорізька атомна електростанціяromanizedZaporizʹka atomna elektrostantsiya[1]) in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world. It was built by the Soviet Union near the city of Enerhodar, on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river. It is operated by Energoatom, who also operate Ukraine’s other three nuclear power stations.

Zaporizhzhia. in the south and not far from the Donbass region, would seem to be part of Ukrainian territory that Russia aims to control.

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Ukraine’s military nuclear program

According to Laurence Norman, journalist for the Wall Street Journal, International Atomic Energy Agency Director Rafael Grossi told the Davos Forum that 30 tons of plutonium and 40 tons of enriched uranium are stockpiled at the Ukrainian power plant in Zaporijjia. (ER: see map below.)

The enrichment rate of the uranium is not specified. Uranium enriched to 5% can only be used for civil purposes; weapons manufacturing requires a threshold of 80%.

On 19 February 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, announced to NATO officials that his country was considering calling into question the Budapest Memorandum (1994) so that it could acquire nuclear weapons against Russia.

On 21 February 2022, President Vladimir Putin alluded to a Ukrainian nuclear program, saying:

“The only thing missing [in Ukraine] is a uranium enrichment system. But this is a technical question, and for Ukraine not an insurmountable problem.”

On 24 February 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine, noting that she was acting within the framework of international law.

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The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

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Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

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Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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After the Russian Victory in Mariupol, What Comes Next?


In the wake of Russian victory in Mariupol

M.K. BHADRAKUMAR

Thank God, Russia eschews any triumphalism over the surrender of the so-called neo-Nazi Azov regiment in the Azovstal factory complex in Mariupol. The Defence Ministry in Moscow announced on Friday that a total of 2,439 “Azov Nazis” and Ukrainian servicemen had laid down their arms since May 16, and that the entire Azovstal complex is now under control of Russian forces.

Azov fighter posing in front of Nazi posters, Mariupol, Ukraine

Russia is sticking to its version that on April 21, President Putin handed down an order calling off the initially planned storming of the Azovstal plant, as he considered it pointless and ordered that the industrial zone around the plant be tightly sealed off so that “even a fly couldn’t get through.” 

Kiev instead claims the “end of combat operations.” President Volodymyr Zelensky called it an “evacuation mission … supervised by our military and intelligence officers” with the involvement of “the most influential international mediators.” 

The fog of war has thickened. Russian Duma previously considered to expressly forbid any exchange of prisoners, but has since stood down. The Russian and Ukrainian delegations are set to meet in Belarus on Monday. 

Moscow is also keeping mum about the identity of any foreign military personnel who surrendered in Mariupol. In the past week, both US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley called their Russian counterparts Sergei Shoigu and Gen. Valery Gerasimov respectively for the first time since the war began in February.  

The resumption of talks in Belarus after two months suggests that Kiev has a negotiating brief that carries the imprimatur of Washington and London. These are big ‘ifs’. The objectives behind the Russian operation are not yet fully realised. Putin has the final word, but he prefers to concentrate more on navigating the Russian economy through the western sanctions. 

The situation on the Ukrainian front lines in Donbass remains very complex. There is intense fighting street to street, village to village, as Russian forces continue to advance on the main front lines. Russia is not committing large forces since operation is highly tactical, aimed at cleansing the region of its “Nazi filth” (to borrow from Putin) if Mariupol is any example. 

Russian forces made a significant gain in capturing Izyum (ER: shown on map below) with the intention to advance further south-west towards the town of Barvenkovo, which is the main stronghold of the Ukrainian forces in Donbass region. They are on the outskirts of the city of Severodonetsk and clashes continue along the road leading to Lisichansk, which has over 10000 Ukrainian troops.

 

Again, after taking control of Popasnaya, Russian are surrounding the Ukrainian forces in various settlements and breaking through their defence lines in three directions. The US mercenaries, many of whom are likely intelligence agents, continue to fight in the ranks of the Ukrainian forces and several of them have been killed. 35-year old Joseph Ward Clark’s documents revealed that he belonged to a unit of special forces. Russia is striking key and strategically important Ukrainian targets such as warehouses, railways and bridges. 

In military terms, Kiev and its western advisors hoped to pin down substantial Russian forces in Mariupol, but were outmanoeuvred. The commander of the Azov army Svyatoslav “Kalyna” Palamar was taken from the Azovstal steel plant yesterday in a special Russian armoured vehicle. All this will demoralise the Ukrainian military. 

Therefore, the US announcement of additional $40 billion for Ukraine can be seen as a morale booster. The combined American military aid for Ukraine now stands at $54 billion, which is about 81 percent of Russia’s 2021 defence budget. But, as Americans would say, there’s nothing like free lunch. The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 signed by Biden in May is patterned after the legislation used during World War II to supply weapons to allied countries, stipulating that these aid packages are actually debts that need to be paid back by Ukraine eventually. 

Washington can claim compensation if Ukraine fails to redeem the debt, such as with the supply of cheap agricultural products by Ukraine, preferential business deals for American companies, and so on.

The Biden Administration probably hopes to ensure that the interest groups at the top echelons of leadership in Kiev continue with the war effort. Ukraine is a notoriously corrupt country and war profiteering on a massive scale can be expected. Much of the aid will be stolen by corrupt officials. 

Going forward, the US diplomacy faces a difficult situation. The EU has virtually shelved the ban on Russian oil and stopped talking about ending Russian gas supplies. The political dynamic in Europe is shifting. After approving five previous sanctions packages against Russia with remarkable speed and unanimity, European leaders have reached the point at which the penalties against Russia carry increasing costs and heightened risk of damage to their own economies, and that is testing their unity. 

France, Germany and Italy, amongst many other EU countries, have come to terms with the new Russian regime for payment for gas supplies that effectively bypasses EU sanctions. Potentially, the current delay in the EU oil sanctions will likely have a domino effect. 

During the recent weeks, there has been a flurry of ceasefire talk (and negotiations with Moscow) by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Their remarks seem at cross-purposes with what the British and the Americans are saying. Simply put, the European continent’s three most powerful capitals have begun singing from a different song sheet, wanting the war to end quickly and everything to “return to normal” as soon as possible. The point is, divergences over allied war aims are emerging.

However, Russia is unlikely to agree to peace terms that fall short of its demands — a neutral Ukraine and Kiev’s acceptance of the status of Donbass region and Crimea. But then, the head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov said on May 18 that Kherson and Zaporizhia regions should be merged with the Crimea. Earlier, the head of the Kherson region also demanded that the region should integrate into Russia. These are gentle reminders that if the war continues, Zelensky will risk harsher terms of settlement. 

In the final analysis, the tragi-comedy of the Azovstal event underscores that there are no winners and losers in this war. The US wants to win this war, whereas Russia is not fighting a war but is seeking a successful operation to meet certain specific objectives of national security. The Ukrainian and Russian peoples have fraternal bonds. Ukraine is Russia’s neighbourhood, whereas it is 10,000 kms away from America. This disconnect threatens to prolong the war.

The Europeans don’t have fire in the belly anymore while speaking about the war, which for them is becoming a great disrupter of the manicured, predictable life in their continent, something that they least expected when Washington hustled them into the war.

Above all, this is an operation of necessity for Russia, not of choice. Paradoxically, the choice was entirely up to the US and NATO to appreciate that there is nothing like absolute security. Wasn’t it the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who once said, “Absolute security for one state means absolute insecurity for all others.”

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Are France and NATO Shipping Depleted Uranium Weaponry Into Ukraine?


Are France and NATO Shipping Depleted Uranium Weaponry Into Ukraine?

A shocking development which contravenes European and international commitments to a clean environment and protecting the health and well-being of their populations.

During a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this past week, President Emmanuel Macron insisted that France would step up its military and humanitarian support for Ukraine.

There is no question that Macron is committed in this respect. Following his re-election during the final round against challenger Marine Le Pen, he was adamant about his desire to work actively during his second term to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while always maintaining close coordination with his European partners and allies. He also indicated France’s readiness to contribute to an agreement that provides security guarantees for Ukraine.

Of course, a key part of this support is the supply of weapons. Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, France has always refused to specify exactly what type of armaments it was sending to Kiev.

The secret was finally revealed by Macron himself during an interview he gave on Thursday 21st April to news media outlet Ouest France.

When asked if Europe was in the process of supplying heavy weapons, especially tanks, as Germany has done with its Leopard tanks, he replied:

Everyone takes their responsibilities with their political balances, and I do not interfere in the political life of others. We are very coordinated. The day before yesterday I spoke to Chancellor Scholz on this subject. We are still delivering substantial equipment, from the MILAN [anti-tank missiles] to the Caesars [guns], including several types of weapons. I think we have to continue on this path. Always with a red line, which is not to enter into co-belligerence.

The interviewer went on asking if tanks were necessary, and this is Macron’s reply:

Some countries have made this choice. It is a debate at the heart of German political life, it is a choice that belongs sovereignly to Germany, and we respect it. We have the same strategy as the Chancellor, which is to say: we must help the Ukrainians as much as possible, but we must be careful never to be co-belligerent.

Furthermore, Agence France-Presse (AFP) asked the Élysée Palace for comments, but they did not specify the number of MILAN missiles and Caesar guns delivered, so as not to “give operational information” which could be used by the Russian Army.


IMAGE: Milan anti-tank missiles.

An Elysian source specified that a few dozen MILAN anti-tank missiles (French-German manufactured) “have already been given” to the Ukrainian armed forces, confirming that these weapons were taken from the stocks of the French armed forces, according to the Elysée Palace (although these numbers seems very conservative).

President Emmanuel Macron

The delivery of the Caesars guns was already in progress at the time, and is believed to have been shipped out with thousands of potentially lethal shells en route to Ukraine.

Spurred on by a voracious defense industry lobby, western leaders have been pouring unprecedented amounts of money and arms into this conflict zone. Since the start of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, some 13 billion euros worth of humanitarian, military, and financial support has been provided by G7 and European Union countries, according to data provided by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and reported by Bloomberg.

According to L’Opinion, French aid covers several different areas. One of the most important contributions also relates to satellite imagery. France has several observation satellites (Helios, Pléiades and CSO) which allow it to provide images several times a day to the Ukrainian general staff. It is likely that this activity will place the French in close collaboration with the allies, particularly with the United States military.

Referring to French aid which is worth a total of 120 million euros (if not more), French news media L’Opinion clarified that France also offered Javelin anti-tank missiles, and Mistral short-range anti-aircraft missiles.

Light missiles:

France has delivered at least three types of light missiles:

    1. Old MILAN anti-tank systems
    2. Javelins anti-tank missiles and
    3. Mistral Short-range Anti-Aircraft Missiles

The French government is yet to release the exact volume of these deliveries.

The supply of these weapon systems was also accompanied by the training of Ukrainian military personnel called upon to implement them.

It is not a state secret that Emmanuel Macron likes to pose as the guarantor of the Paris Agreement for the climate and sometimes as the Ambassador of the One Health Approach which was resumed in his 24th May 2021 speech he gave at the 74th World Health Assembly in the presence of Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

This article will now focus on the actual weapons France and its allies are sending to Ukraine and examine the real danger they represent – not only for the environment, but also to people’s health.

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According to the various statements made by Macron’s government, we can gather that Milan missiles and Caesar guns and shells are the bulk of these deliveries. It is very clear that this material was chosen because it meets the following criteria:

  • End-of-life equipment (old)
  • Depleted uranium bombs/missiles

This second item is by far the most problematic. Before analyzing these weapons, it is important to understand the knowledge and perception associated with the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions in military warfare.

Which raises the obvious question: are France and NATO shipping depleted uranium weaponry into Ukraine? As this article will demonstrate, the preponderance of evidence strongly indicates that they are doing this. And the ramifications are huge, not just politically, but also legally, environmentally, as well as regarding health effects to combatants in this war. Most importantly though, we are really talking about the long-term public health for people living in and around the country of Ukraine – through the careless spreading of highly toxic and radioactive material in the region.

What is Depleted Uranium?

Watch this brief video presentation of the risks posed by DU munitions:

Video Player

According to the European Commission and their Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), depleted uranium is a dense metal produced as a by-product of enrichment of natural uranium for nuclear fuel. It is still radioactive, but at a lower level than the material at the beginning of the process. It is used in armour-piercing ammunition, shells and bombs, in order to provide more penetrating power. Such munitions were used in many wars including in both Gulf Wars in Iraq, and also in NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, specifically in battle theatres like Serbia and Kosovo.

Their repeated use has raised concerns about health threats from exposure to the distributed uranium material and particle dust. Many studies have reported evidence of its prevalence, as well as a lack thereof, depending on whose report you are reading. Suffice to say, reporting on this subject still remains very controversial.

The European commission is well aware of the hazards such weapons represent. Here for instance is one of the many replies from the European Commission, addressed to Florent Pirot, the Secretary of the European Association Against Depleted Uranium (EAADU):

For this reason, France’s weapons deliveries into the Ukraine war zone will have international implications. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) appears to be advocating for a ban on the use of uranium in all conventional weapons and weapon systems, and is engaged in monitoring, health care, compensation, and environmental remediation for communities affected by its use. However, this group has a very limited definition of DU weapons and munitions.

Sadly the ICBUW seems to believe that only a limited number of depleted uranium weapons, namely 105 and 120 mm tank shells, and small caliber bullets (15/25/30 mm) represent an actual danger to people and the environment, which naturally triggers the usual criticism towards the US government and others like it when such munitions are used, and therefore completely ignores aircraft-dropped bombs (GBUs), cruise missiles, and other types of anti-tank missiles.

Why would that be?

The topic of depleted uranium is a sensitive one, even though governments have more or less acknowledged the use of uranium in these weapons. Yet, the fact remains that they are used much more widely because of uranium being the best penetrator against tanks and bunkers.

During our research, we were amazed to find so many reports and cases where higher concentrations of uranium were found near bomb craters and other sites where missiles and bombs have landed. We are meant to believe missiles or bombs land away from the populated areas, but in the reality of warfare, such assumptions are simply not accurate.

An excellent article published 19 June 2016 by Florent Pirot, the EAADU Secretary, provides a trove of information and data on this subject including a link to The Washington Spectator, which published a damning report entitled “Irradiated Iraq: The Nuclear Nightmare We Left Behind,” describing the health effects, including horrendous birth defects, resulting from the US military’s prolific use of weapons made with depleted uranium.

Although Barbara Koeppel, who wrote this article, faced the wrath of the usual scientific experts (which reminds me of the scientific experts of the COVID 19 so-called pandemic), it is hard to ignore the alarm sounded in 2000 by Dr. Rosalie Bertell, a cancer research scientist and consultant to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (she died in 2012), who stated that, “DU is some thousand times more radioactive than the uranium found in soil and rock.”

Regardless of whether the bombs, bullets, or missiles are made with depleted, un-depleted, or slightly enriched uranium, they are all radioactive”.

Now let’s take a look at the weapons and ammunitions Macron is currently sending to Ukraine.

MILAN anti-tank guided missile

The MILAN is a product of Euromissile, a Franco-German missile development program dating back to the 1960s. The system entered service in 1972 as a second generation anti-tank guided missile, and soon became a standard anti-tank weapon throughout NATO, in use by most of the alliance’s individual armies.

With its rather short range (2,000 meters), it is an old anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), and is known for its depleted uranium contents.

To put things into perspective, it is important to be aware that between 1986 and 2003, European armies such as the Italian Army’s combat units, were equipped with MILAN shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, which emitted thorium-232, a notoriously radioactive metal which emits particles that are six times more hazardous to human health than those released by already hazardous depleted uranium.

Below you can see in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are undergoing intensive training in mastering MILAN-2 anti-tank systems.


IMAGE: The MILAN-2 ATGM in service in Ukraine, footage from a CNN video (April 2022).

The MILAN system was designed as per the requirements of the German and French armed forces whilst still considering the general requirements of NATO Command for such weapons.

Thus, the international association Euromissile has developed a system that, due to its high performance, has become the most widely used (after the TOW ATGM) of all anti-tank missiles, currently deployed in different countries.

The MILAN anti-tank system is used by military ground forces in 40 countries, including Germany, France, other NATO countries, and of course now Ukraine.

Watch this brief presentation on the MILAN 2 anti-tank system:

Video Player

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The use of depleted uranium weapons is again causing concern. I am saying this with the people of Serbia and Kosovo in mind, who discovered that the conflict, which ended in 1999-2000, had left serious levels of radioactive contamination, just as it did in Kuwait some nine years before.

Why do the United States and NATO allies continue to use a waste product of the nuclear industry in their weapons? Some commentators allege that it is a conspiracy between the military and the nuclear industry to dispose of dangerous waste in hostile countries. While this may be partly true, the real reasons are certainly more complex.

As we speak, depleted uranium munitions are being fired on a regular basis at one of France’s military testing grounds, known as Canjuers. Many French soldiers have reported on the danger associated with the MILAN anti-tank guided missile. The following is the kind of comment you will hear from soldiers using it:

“Depleted uranium, we use it everyday in Canjuers” – they said. “Do not come near the target, it is contaminated with depleted uranium, this is dangerous” (soldier explaining what the officer told them when training with Milan missiles in Canjuers).

More of these testimonies can be found here.

The ‘Javelin’ anti-tank missile

The Javelin, although known largely as an anti-tank missile packing a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) round that can penetrate the latest armor, is really a multi-role shoulder-launched missile system capable of taking out everything from heavy armor, to troops hiding behind cover, to low and slow flying aircraft. Its reusable command launch unit can also be used independently as a thermal imaging surveillance system, which can drastically improve austerely equipped troops’ ability to surveil their surroundings, especially at night. It features wide-angle viewing modes as well as a zoom-in mode of up to 12X.



IMAGE: Javelin anti-tank missile.

Ukraine has recently received American, but also French, military support which includes thousands of Javelin anti-tank missiles. All the data presented by the Ukrainian military confirms that these Javelins have depleted uranium warheads. The missile and its launcher – the Command Launch Unit – together weigh 48.8 pounds, while the missile alone weighs 33 pounds, due to the extreme density and weight of DU material.

According to Florent Pirot’s article, the Javelin missiles’ depleted uranium remain a terrible threat for the environment long after the battle is over – so much so, that it will make it impossible to live in an area where these weapons were used, and not until a magnetic cleaning operation is enforced, and even then it still remains work that requires several passings in order to be left in a satisfactory state.

Pirot goes on to describe this as a crime to use these DU weapons, and unfortunately the Ukrainians’ belief they have achieved some tactical military superiority is somewhat naive, if not gullible, with respect to the low range and severe long-term risks posed by these weapons.

Given its incredibly dense nature, depleted uranium has been used for both tank armor and also in anti-tank ammunition. Depleted uranium is uranium with much of the U-235 removed. It is basically what is left over after the process of enrichment. Coupled with a shaped charge, a depleted uranium round and the DU dart contained inside it can go through most tank armor, hence, the reason why Javelin anti-tank missiles have now become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

On April 5, 2010, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on a possible Foreign Military Sale to France of 260 JAVELIN Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, 76 Command Launch Units with Integrated Day/Thermal Sights, and associated equipment, parts, and logistical support, for an estimated cost of $69 million.

It is fair to assume that France took possession of Javelin antitank missiles from the US, and sent some of its armed forces stock to Ukraine.

.
Mistral Short Range Anti-Aircraft Missiles (SATCP)


The MISTRAL is manufactured by Matra (now MBDA). Its first version was put into service in the French army in 1989. It is a very short-range surface-to-air weapon system intended to complete the surface-to-air coverage of the armored and mechanized corps. It provides isolated units with their own air defense capability. Its targets are airplanes flying up to Mach 1.2 between 10m and 3000m and helicopters in motion or hovering. Its range is over 6km.

Watch the following brief presentation on the MISTRAL mobile SAM system:

Video Player

UK Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW)

We thought it would be unfair to not mention the British government, who out of the kindness of their hearts have donated thousands of Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) to Ukraine.

This missile system weighs 12.5 kg each, and has a range of no more than 1 kilometre. These features indicate that these missiles (made by Sweden’s leading defense contractor Saab Bofors, and manufactured in Ireland) include a substantial amount of depleted uranium. Given its density, even relatively small quantities of DU would add significant mass to a missile, greatly curtailing its range, but with the added benefit of its armor-penetrating ability.

These missiles explode above the tank to spray it with DU together with the surroundings.

We now know that there have likely been at least 8 shipments of these missiles sent. “Thousands” of NLAWs have been promised, meaning thousands of kilograms of depleted uranium has already entered Ukraine.

Journalist Fra Hughes from Al Mayadeen explains the potential legal conundrum for countries like Sweden who are trafficking arms under the cover of a NATO-sponsored proxy war:

“One of the communications unveiled quite clearly that the Swedish government does not want the Ukraine government to publicly acknowledge its acceptance of these deadly weapons, which were dispatched on March 25, 2022, one day after the Swedish Parliament confirmed it would send aid to Ukraine.

There are many military weapons manufactured by both private arms companies and governments, which are in contravention of international law and or the Geneva convention.

Examples include depleted uranium which is used in ammunition that remains radioactive for decades. The American army used these munitions in Fallujah (Iraq), leading to severe birth abnormalities among the local population.

Air to ground missiles and bombs containing phosphorous are also banned under international law.”

Again, these weapons are a known environmental and radioactive hazard, and when used in areas where civilians live, one can easily see why some, including weapons experts, regard their prolific use as a crime against humanity.

Watch this brief presentation on the NLAW anti-tank system:

Video Player

You may have heard of Doug Rokke, the US Army veteran with a doctorate in radiation protection, who fell gravely ill from depleted uranium contamination. His work was nothing short of exemplary, especially for his reports on the Iraq War, exposing areas destroyed by cruise missiles which were found to be radioactive.

Doug made a video (I warn you the video quality is rather poor, but I believe the content is the real take way) for the US Army as part of a program he was commissioned to prepare to educate soldiers on the dangers of uranium (a 40-hour training program that eventually ended up on the shelf). He explains in his video that uranium was not only used in small calibre and tank shells, but also as a “ballast” in missiles. The video was meant to become an official training video on the “dangers of depleted uranium.”

Why is the use of DU controversial?

The use of DU ammunition has been considered controversial because of its potentially harmful effects on the environment and human health. It was alleged that the enriched uranium exposure resulted in an increase in birth defects in Fallujah, Iraq. The dust particles or fragments resulting from the use of DU ammunition could also contaminate the environment through air, soil, and the water.

However, there is still a dearth of conclusive research or evidence which directly links the adverse effects on humans and environment to the use of DU ammunition, most likely because of the incredible implications it could have for governments involved in their manufacture and use. Hence, much more research and scientific studies need to be conducted and brought forward for the benefit of millions around the world.

The United States has already confirmed that DU ammunitions were used in Syria. The use of such weapons has long been criticized for posing health risks to both combatants and civilians, not to mention the environment, but to date, the US has shown very little interest in taking responsibility for any of the fall-out from DU use in the field.

We must also ask: what are the potential legal issues arising out of the use of DU in various international and non-international military operations and armed conflicts?

Here is an article about it, asking the right questions.

What else is on its way to Ukraine?

France’s Defence Minister Florence Parly confirmed on Twitter that France would also send “several Caesar artillery cannons and thousands of shells”.

Built by partly state-owned arms maker Nexter, the Caesar is a 155mm howitzer mounted on a six-wheeled truck chassis, capable of firing shells at ranges of more than 40km (25 miles).

Ukrainian officials including President Zelenskyy have repeatedly implored European and NATO powers to provide heavier weapons, especially artillery.

The Caesar artillery system is a self-propelled gun that is manufactured by Nexter Systems in Versailles. The weapon is the product of a collaboration with Lohr Industrie of Hangenbieten, in France, and was first ordered by the French Army in 2003. By December 2004, at least 72 more Caesars were ordered for the French Army, and used to replace the old TRF1 Howitzer artillery systems.

 
IMAGE: The Caesar artillery system in action.

The weapons system officially entered into regular production in 2006.

You can find out more about the Caesar Gun and the destructive nature of the Ogre shell bomblets at: www.army-technology.com.

How about Germany’s generosity toward Ukraine?

Last week, Germany reversed a historic policy of never sending weapons to conflict zones, saying the Russian invasion of Ukraine was an epochal moment that imperiled the entire post-World War II order and threatened security across Europe, according to their statement reported by Politico.


IMAGE: Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and his German counterpart, Christine Lambrecht, met Tuesday at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany.

Eventually, Berlin finally bowed to that pressure. The decision was an abrupt change in course, coming after Berlin clung to its initial position for weeks despite huge Russian advances, and relentless pressure from EU and NATO allies.

From its own stockpile, the German government will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons, and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine.

The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM). It can be adapted to fire from a wide variety of ground vehicles and helicopters.

 
IMAGE: Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems /’Cheetah’ also known as the Flakpanzer Gepard.

The German government has decided to allow on Tuesday 26th April, the export of anti-aircraft armored “Cheetah” fighting vehicles, better known as the “Flakpanzer Gepard.”

This self-propelled anti-aircraft gun has been decommissioned by the German armed forces and will now be refurbished and sent to Ukraine,” said Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht.

The German defence minister also said that Berlin was working with the US to train Ukrainian soldiers on German soil. It is yet to be seen if Germany’s 1970s era Gepard tanks will actually make a difference in the context of Ukraine war theater.

German Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to enter Ukraine (Source CRUX Youtube):

Video Player

In the final report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Kosovo war), evidence of use of depleted uranium (DU) projectiles by NATO aircraft during the bombing campaign is acknowledged. The report confirms that no specific treaty ban on the use of DU projectiles actually exists. There is a developing scientific debate and concern expressed regarding the impact of the use of such weapons, and it is possible that, in the future, there will be a consensus view in international legal circles that the use of such projectiles violates general principles of both domestic and international law applicable to use of weapons in armed conflict.

Finally, it is also acknowledged that analysis undertaken with regard to environmental damage would apply, mutatis mutandis, to the use of depleted uranium projectiles by NATO. Furthermore, in the report we can read the committee shot down a potential OTP investigation before it even started.

One would hope that we could learn our lessons of history and past wars, and heed the ominous warning issued in this article, “The Depleted Uranium Weapons: Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War”.

Since their first use during the Gulf War by the US and UK, depleted uranium weapons have since been deployed as well in Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo, and again in the war in Iraq by the US and UK from 2003 onwards. There is also a suspicion that the US have used DU in Afghanistan from 2001, although this has been routinely denied by the government.

Its dangers cannot be understated: it produces an oxide dust while burning, and this dust simply cannot be inhaled and retained by the lungs, as  it can lead to uranium deposits left in the lymph nodes, bones, brain and testes. A sharp increase in various cancers, breast cancers, and lymphoma, as well as birth defects, has been observed in the countries where DU has been used. Knowing this, we must then consider the reckless actions of governments involved, and of organisations like NATO, all of whom seem content to turn a blind eye to this issue.

The effects on the troops themselves is also endemic. There have been numerous incidents of deleterious health effects from exposure to depleted uranium on military personnel as well as civilians, including devastating respiratory disease, gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, kidney stones, skin and vision problems, and various forms of cancer and birth defects. A number of leukemia deaths within a year among 60,000 Italian soldiers serving in Kosovo have been linked to depleted uranium.

For those interested in reading more about the health effects associated with depleted uranium weapons, I invite you to read the following study from M. Ragheb which provides a more scientific approach and an open discussion on the topics of DU: 

LINK TO DOCUMENT

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Conclusion

While we were initially focusing on France’s DU weaponry being shipped into Ukraine, it’s clear that other countries, including the US, UK, Sweden, and possibly Germany – are also trafficking vast amounts of deadly depleted uranium products into that country. By the time this latest war is over, it is very likely that the amount of DU material released in Ukraine may surpass levels seen in the Yugoslavian War, and the Iraq wars.

How long will international human rights, anti-war, and nonproliferation organizations stay silent on this crucial issue?

The lack of any treaty regulating the use of DU, and the curious absence of applicable rules under existing international humanitarian law (IHL) treaties have created a legal lacuna concerning the use of DU in military training, and especially international armed conflicts (IAC) or non-international armed conflicts (NIAC). As most armed conflicts in the contemporary world are often non-international in nature, but with certain cross-border elements, it raises the critical question of whether a common international framework to regulate DU in IAC and NIAC is required.

Finally, much more research is needed to better understand the adverse effects resulting from the use of DU in order to create a general consensus to seriously regulate or prohibit its use.

Special thanks to Florent Pirot for his amazing work and relentless efforts for exposing Governments and NATO armed forces’ use of depleted uranium (DU) and much more. Please check his blog here and perhaps take the time to read his report on “Uranium and other alpha emitting nanoparticulates: the forgotten pollutant.”

READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files

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Ukraine Sitrep April 25 – Railway Hits, U.S. War Aims, Ops Report


Ukraine – Railway Hits, U.S. War Aims, Ops Report

MOON OF ALABAMA

Updated below at 17:45 UTC

Last Thursday, the first destruction of bridges along Ukrainian railway routes in eastern Ukraine took place. These were important for Ukraine’s war effort and especially for the resupplies flowing from west towards the eastern front:

The Ukrainian military, like Russia’s, depends on railways for all long distance mass supplies as both have relatively few logistic trucks. The U.S. and others have said they would give the Ukraine dozens of 155mm towed artillery guns plus tens of thousands of shells with them. The U.S. guns come with one truck each to tow the gun.

That is all manageable so far but now let’s look at the logistics (especially without railways). …

I have estimated that the Ukraine does not have enough trucks to replace railway logistics and those logistics are now falling apart:

The Eurasianist @Russ_Warrior – 10:09 UTC · Apr 25, 2022

The Russian Armed Forces hit 7 substations in western #Ukraine:
_ Zdolbunov (trains stopped in Dubno area, delay of the trains to Kovel), _ Kazatin-2, _ Krasnoye, _ Podolskaya, _ Sknilov, _ Slavuta (decommissioning of the entire area of Zdolbunov and Slavuta stations), _ Fastov


biggerThe attacks have been confirmed:

Christopher Miller @ChristopherJM – 12:07 UTC · Apr 25, 2022

Ukraine state railway head Oleksandr Kamyshin on Telegram: “Russian troops continue to systematically destroy railway infrastructure. This morning, within an hour, 5 railway stations in central and western Ukraine came under fire.” 19 trains delayed; unknown number of injuries.

The ‘substations’ Russia destroyed are the electric ones which supply the electrified long range train routes.

Woofers @NotWoofers – 12:02 UTC · Apr 25, 2022

Electrical substation in Krasne, near Lviv was hit by a Russian missile earlier today. Much damage was caused and a large fire was started.
Picture

The substations transform higher voltage to whatever the rail network needs. Without the substations, which are not easy to replace, most of Ukraine’s locomotives will not run.

Some traffic will continue by using diesel locomotives. However, those are relatively rare as the Wikipedia entry for Ukrainian railways explains:

Number of locomotives – 1,944 (electric – 1,627, diesel – 301)

Diesel locomotives are slower than electrified ones. They also need a lot of diesel which has become rare in Ukraine and must be imported  by rail(!) from Slovenia.

Supplying additional diesel locomotives from other countries in eastern Europe will not be possible. The Ukraine has, like Russia, wide gauge tracks of 1,524 mm (5 ft). Most other European countries use a normal gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in).

Meanwhile the U.S. announced a vague new aim for its proxy war against Russia:

Austin was in Poland, answering questions from reporters after a brief trip Sunday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Kyiv, where the pair met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials.The defense secretary was asked how he defined “America’s goals for success” in Ukraine. He first said Washington wants to see “Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country, able to protect its sovereign territory.”

Then, he said, the United States hopes Russia will be “weakened” by the war. “It has already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly, and we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability,” Austin said.

Speaking in a hangar in Poland filled with crates of humanitarian aid, including diapers, destined for Ukraine, the top Biden administration officials announced more than $700 million in new military aid to Ukraine and other countries, and said the United States intends to resume diplomatic operations in Ukraine this week.

All the diapers, weapons and munitions the U.S. and other countries supply to Ukraine will now mostly be stuck in west Ukraine where they will rot until some clever Ukrainian oligarch manages to sell them off to some third country.

The fall out from the railway attacks will also hit civilian supplies in Ukraine. It will hinder civilian passenger traffic, especially for people who have fled towards the west and now have less transport available to return home.

Since the war started, Russia has intentionally avoided hitting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. Electricity and communication networks as well as water supplies have all stayed intact. (In recent U.S. wars, those were the first things it destroyed.) The attacks on the Ukrainian railway became only necessary after the U.S. and others provided more and more war materials to the Ukraine. Russia will not allow its troops to come under fire from those newly delivered weapons.

Despite warnings from Russia to Ukraine to not attack on Russian ground, Ukrainian sabotage groups seem to have some success with destroying Russian infrastructure:

IWN @A7_Mirza – 14:22 UTC · Apr 25, 2022

#Russia #Ukraine
Large fire in #Druzhba oil depot in Russia’s #Bryansk. Russia said it would investigate the cause of a large fire that erupted in the early hours of the morning at an oil storage facility in the city of Bryansk 154 km northeast of the border with Ukraine.
Pictures

This is the second large oil storage facility that in recent weeks suffered from such an accident or potential attack. However, it is unlikely that this will hinder any Russian operation. Unlike Ukraine, Russia has many refineries, very significant reserves and it can move large amounts of diesel by train throughout its country.

Next to its attacks on the Ukraine’s traffic infrastructure to impede ‘western’ resupplies, the Russian military continues to soften up the Ukrainian defense lines along the Donbas front. From this mornings ‘clobber list’ as published by the Russian Defense Ministry:

High-precision sea- and air-based long-range weapons on the northern outskirts of Kremenchuk destroyed fuel production facilities of an oil refinery, as well as storage facilities for oil products to supply military equipment of Ukrainian troops. During the night, 6 enemy assets were hit by high-precision air-based missiles. Among them: 3 strong points and areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment, as well as 3 ammunition depots in Barvenkovo and Novaya Dmitrovka in Kharkov Region.

Operational-tactical and army aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 56 military assets of Ukraine. Among them: 2 command posts and 53 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 1 fuel storage facility near Novaya Dmitrovka.

Missile troops carried out 19 strikes during the night. Destroyed: 4 command posts of the nationalists, including the 81st Separate Airborne Assault Brigade and the 110th Territorial Defence Brigade, and three ammunition depots. 21 areas of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment concentration were hit.

Artillery units carried out 967 fire missions during the day. Destroyed: 33 command posts, 929 strong points, areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 5 missile and artillery weapons and ammunition depots.

Russian air defence means shot down 13 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Mezhurino, Balakleya, Borodoyarkoe, Nevskoe in Kharkov Region and Vysokoe and Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.

In addition, Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile and cannon system shot down 1 Ukrainian Tochka-U missile and 18 rockets of a multiple-launch rocket system over Chernobaeka.

Since phase two of the war started last week, there have been no larger battles. What we have seen so far from the Russian side does not amount to more than armored reconnaissance.

The nearly 1,000 artillery missions in the last 24 hours and on the days before speak of intense preparations for upcoming attacks by Russian mechanized forces. Over all artillery will do the most damage to the Ukrainian troops. In World War II and other modern mechanized wars, some 65% of all casualties were caused by artillery strikes. The recent rate on the Ukrainian side will likely be higher.

I said several weeks ago that the Ukraine has no chance of winning in this war. It is losing more and more people, and its economy has nearly ceased to exist.

But the U.S. wants to ‘weaken’ Russia by fighting it to the last Ukrainian. Ukraine’s president Zelensky is obviously willing to go along with that program. He should instead agree to Russia’s reasonable peace conditions. He is destroying the Ukraine by not doing that.

Update 17:45 UTC

Politico piece about the situation in Ukraine confirms my above take:

Heavy weaponry pours into Ukraine as commanders become more desperate

Western countries are rushing heavy weaponry to Ukraine as the war enters what promises to be a deadly, and potentially protracted, new phase. Those deliveries are coming amid increasingly desperate pleas from Ukrainian battlefield commanders as they endure withering Russian artillery and rocket fire that could last weeks or months.

Here is a realistic view of how the war feels on the ground:

Eighty miles north of [Mariupol], First Lt. Ivan Skuratovsky, serving in the 25th Airborne Brigade, told POLITICO that help needs to come immediately.“The situation is very bad, [Russian forces] are using scorched-earth tactics,” the 31-year-old married father of two said via text. “They simply destroy everything with artillery, shelling day and night,” he said via text.

He fears that if reinforcements in the form of manpower and heavy weaponry — particularly air support — don’t arrive in the next few days, his troops could find themselves in the same position as those in Mariupol.

Skuratovsky described his soldiers’ situation as “very desperate.”

“I don’t know how much strength we will have,” he said, adding that the troops under his command around the city of Avdiivka, near Donetsk, have gone without rest since the start of the war. At least 13 of them have been wounded in recent weeks, he said, and they are running dangerously low on ammunition, reduced to rationing bullets.

The day before, he told POLITICO his soldiers were being bombarded with Russian howitzers, mortars and multiple-launch rocket systems “at the same time.” Just hours earlier, he said, they had been attacked by two Su-25 warplanes, “and our day became hell.”

Skuratovsky had a message for the United States and other NATO countries: “I would like to tell them that grenade launchers are good, but against airstrikes and heavy artillery we will not be able to hold out for long. People can no longer endure daily bombardments. We need air support now. We need drones.”

I feel very sorry for these soldiers and curse their leaders who pushed them into this.

Alastair Crooke warns that the ‘west’ might escalate when it finally recognizes that its proxy war against Russia is lost.

The conviction that the European liberal vision faces humiliation and disdain, were Putin to ‘win’, has taken hold. And in the Obama-Clinton-Deep State nexus, it is unimaginable that Putin and Russia still regarded as the author of Russiagate for many Americans, might prevail.The logic to this conundrum is inexorable – Escalation.

For Biden, whose approval ratings continue to tank, disaster looms in the November mid-terms.

The only possible path out from this approaching cataclysm would be for Biden to pull a rabbit from the Ukraine ‘hat’ (one that, at the very least, would distract from soaring inflation). The Neo-cons and the Deep State (but not the Pentagon) are all for it.

I hope that Biden is still competent enough to recognize that any escalation will lead to a much larger war and, in the end, to a much bigger defeat of ‘western’ forces than the one that will come in Ukraine.

************

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Moscow Lays Blame for Stalled Ukraine Talks


ER Editor: While we don’t bet the family farm on anybody’s word, Lavrov’s statement of facts and interpretation conform to what we’ve seen and heard elsewhere. See former diplomat and analyst Alastair Crooke‘s interpretation of what the West’s position currently is – what Lavrov is talking about here makes perfect sense. Why would anything be negotiated in good faith when all you seek is war? As Crooke points out, the time for negotiations is now long gone:

The Dynamics of Escalation: ‘Standing With Ukraine’

********

Moscow lays blame for stalled Ukraine talks

London and Washington made Zelensky backtrack on Istanbul deal, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov says

SAMIZDAT / RT

There is a belief in Moscow that Washington, London and other Western capitals – not Kiev – are the real decision-makers when it comes to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Monday. He said that Kiev’s negotiators backtracked on the tentative understanding reached last month in Istanbul on advice from the US and the UK.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, April 22, 2022

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators met face-to-face in Turkey at the end of March. Russia then took Ukraine’s outline, put it together in a “contractual” format and sent it to Kiev, only to get back “radically different” ideas in what was a “huge step back,” Lavrov said in the interview with the ‘Great Game,’ a political show on Russia’s Channel One.

“We know for sure that neither the US nor the UK – which is trying in every possible way to compensate for its current lonely status after leaving the EU – advised [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky to speed up the negotiations, but to harden his position each time,” Lavrov said. The backtracking after Istanbul, he added, “was taken on the advice of our American or British colleagues. Maybe the Poles and the Balts played some role here.”

Meanwhile, Western leaders – such as the British PM Boris Johnson and EU foreign minister Josep Borrell – make statements to the effect that Russia “must be defeated” and that the conflict needs to be resolved “on the field of battle,” while sending weapons to Kiev, Lavrov pointed out.

“These weapons will be a legitimate target for the Russian Armed Forces,” the foreign minister said. “Warehouses, including in the west of Ukraine, have become such a target more than once. How else? NATO is essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy. In war, as in war.”

While “casting spells” against a Third World War, the West is fueling the conflict with weapons and hoping to have the “fight Russia to the last man” in order to bleed Moscow, Lavrov said.

“You know, goodwill is not unlimited,” he added. “If it is not reciprocated, then this does not contribute to the negotiation process. As before, many of us are convinced – as I have already mentioned – that the real position of Ukraine is determined in Washington, London and other Western capitals,” he said, noting that some political scientists have said that talks should be held with NATO, and not Zelensky.

However, Lavrov also pointed out that Russia has not had much luck talking to NATO directly. When Moscow presented its security proposals to the US and NATO in December 2021, they were politely heard and then ignored.

“Rather impolitely, they made it clear that what was needed for our security was not up to us to decide,” Lavrov said.

The objectives of the “special military operation” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 have not changed, Lavrov said: the destruction of military infrastructure in Ukraine that threatened Russia, with “the strictest measures in order to minimize any damage to the civilian population.”

Lavrov also offered a prediction how the conflict would end. “As in any situation where armed forces are used, everything will end with a treaty,” he said. “But its parameters will be determined by the stage of hostilities at which this treaty becomes a reality.”

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state. (ER: And as we’ve reported, nobody in the West actually observed the Minsk agreements.)

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

************

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All Ukrainian Media Are Now Controlled by Zelensky and His Oligarch Benefactor


All Ukrainian media are now controlled by Zelensky and his oligarch benefactor

All Ukrainian media, without exception, have been placed under the control of the Security and Defense Council, President Zelensky announced on March 20, 2022.

FREEWEST MEDIA

Raids have taken place at the homes of the most famous journalists, particularly those who have investigated corruption cases. Some of them disappeared without it being known whether they were arrested or went underground.

The 1+1 Media Group, owned by oligarch Igor Kolomoyskyi (president Zelensky’s protector and the godfather of the Ukrainian mafia), seems to oversee this control over all communication coming out of Ukraine. This is hardly a “democratic” move, but this information supports the Russian contention that the war in Ukraine is not going Zelensky’s way.

The government of Ukraine has also prepared for the evacuation from Kiev. This was indicated by the decision of the Verkhovna Rada (ER: the Ukrainian Parliament) to support the introduction of amendments to two laws: “On the central authorities” and “On the legal regime of martial law”. It means that the Cabinet of Ministers can now move to any other city in Ukraine.

Moreover, the simultaneous banning of opposition political parties belies the interpretation of the conflict as pitting a dictatorship, Russia, against a democracy, Ukraine. To coincide with the extreme media clampdown, armed soldiers were dispatched by the Ukrainian mafia boss to occupy a state-owned oil company. His private militia took over the offices of oil company UkrTransNafta in order to protect his financial interests.

Critical journalists have disappeared

As a reminder, all actual opposition media, including at least three TV channels, were shut down or driven underground in a wave of arbitrary, extrajudicial repression that began last summer, long before the invasion. Relatives of prominent journalists, pundits, and bloggers say their family members have disappeared or were placed in detention or under house arrest since the start of the Russian operation.

Now the few last “loyal” outlets, such as Channel 5, until recently owned by billionaire ex-president Poroshenko and closely aligned to him, have been shut down. Less than 48 hours after Channel 5 began airing doubts about Zelensky’s claims related to the siege of Mariupol, the Kiev government stepped in to force all TV news programs to follow scripts handed to them by Zelensky’s highly paid British and American public relations teams. The government has expressly prohibited the broadcast of any other news.

The head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Alexei Danilov, also specifically warned OPZZh legislators to stay home, because at “our checkpoints”, they would be shot. The OPZZh is the opposition Platform — For Life political party in Ukraine.

The image of the Ukrainian military standing up to a Russian Goliath has been carefully cultivated through a propaganda campaign by an army of anti-Russian influencers and praised by a NATO commander as “really excellent in stratcom — media, info ops, and also psy-ops”.

He told the Washington Post: “Western officials say that while they cannot independently verify much of the information that Kiev puts out about the evolving battlefield situation, including casualty figures for both sides, it nonetheless represents highly effective stratcom.

News site PRWeek maintains that the propaganda initiative includes more than 150 public relations firms, spearheaded by Nicky Regazzoni and Francis Ingraham, a top public relations consultant with close ties to the UK’s government. “Ingraham previously worked for Britain’s Conservative Party, sits on the UK Government Communication Service Strategy and Evaluation Council, is Chief Executive of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, and leads the membership body for UK local government communicators, LG Comms,” according to a report from Mint Press.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs relays “key messages” and approved content through Yaroslav Turbil, described on his LinkedIn page as “Head of Ukraine.ua — Ukraine’s digital ecosystem for global communications. Strategic Communications & Country Brand Promotion”.

But their efforts were not always “highly effective stratcom”. Turbil was incidentally responsible for the Snake Island farce. President Zelensky had even held a press conference announcing that he would award the Hero of Ukraine medal to the “dead soldiers” until they all turned up alive and well.

Zelensky’s call for foreign fighters has been another failed PR operation with dupes now discovering that they will be used as cannon fodder. There are more examples of fake “bombings” of nuclear plants and “war” images from video games which have been exposed for what they are.

NATO’s troll farms

But the network of Zelensky’s paid media shills is nevertheless formidable and relentless.

“Another anonymously-penned investigation shows how Ukrainian public relations firms have used targeted advertisements to astroturf Russian internet and social media networks with messaging calling to economically isolate Moscow and ‘stop the war’. This effort is led by Bezlepkin Evgeny Vitalievich, who uses the alias Evgeny Korolev, along with Pavel Antonov of the Targetorium organization.”

Facebook has meanwhile been marking statements by Russian officials, including the Ministry of Defense, as “false” thanks to the efforts of StopFake, a self-described “fact checking” outlet funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, Atlantic Council, Czech and UK foreign ministries, and the International Renaissance Foundation, which is funded by billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

The coordinator of the public relations agency, One Philosophy, in Kiev, has worked with the US State Department and advised former President Petro Poroshenko. She is also co-founder and board member of Ukraine Crisis Media Center, funded by the US Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Embassy, and NATO, among many others.

These are but some of the public relations efforts underway to support Ukraine.

War lobbying in Washington intensifies

Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul described the network of public relations professionals and pro-war lobbyists surrounding the Ukrainian president as a well-established communication architecture. “These are people around Mr. Zelensky who are like the intermediaries and interlocutors. They’ve been interacting with the American elites and American media for a long time,” he said.

McFaul actually acts as informal advisor to Zelensky. He told Politico that he spoke to Ukrainian government officials “probably everyday,” and “has helped them make connections with NBC or MSNBC producers”.

Highlighting their close relationship, Zelensky held a “strategic video call” with McFaul before he addressed Democrats in the US House of Representatives recently.

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The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

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Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Ukraine : The Great Manipulation – What’s Really Going On and What’s Next?



ER Editor: See also this interesting interview of former CIA operative Larry C. Johnson by Mike Whitney, titled

Larry C. Johnson: “The Ukrainian Army Has Been Defeated. What’s Left Is Mop-Up”

********

Ukraine : the great manipulation

While revelations are multiplying about the exactions committed by Ukrainian banditry over the past eight years, Westerners continue to perceive only the suffering of the Ukrainian civilian population. They are unaware of the root causes of the war, as well as the events that led the Kremlin to unleash it. No matter, the banditry is losing and the great powers are preparing for peace.

President Putin exposes himself. He gathered 80,000 people in a stadium to celebrate the reunification with Crimea and the fight against Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Meanwhile, in Kiev, no crowds take to the streets to support President Zelensky, who is in hiding.

This article is a follow-up to :
1. “Russia wants to force the US to respect the UN Charter,” January 4, 2022.
2. “Washington pursues RAND plan in Kazakhstan, then Transnistria,” January 11, 2022.
3. “Washington refuses to hear Russia and China,” January 18, 2022.
4. “Washington and London, deafened“, February 1, 2022.
5. “Washington and London try to preserve their domination over Europe“, February 8, 2022.
6. “Two interpretations of the Ukrainian affair”, 16 February 2022.
7. “Washington sounds the alarm, while its allies withdraw”, 22 February 2022.
8. “Russia declares war on the Straussians”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 5 March 2022.
9. “A gang of drug addicts and neo-nazis”, 5 March 2022.
10 “Israel stunned by Ukrainian neo-Nazis”, 8 March 2022.

Military operations continue in Ukraine with two radically different narratives depending on whether one listens to the Western or Russian media. These two versions diverge not only in describing the war, but more importantly in describing the goals of the war.

In the West, the public is convinced that the Russian army has enormous logistical problems and cannot fuel its tanks. Its planes strike indiscriminately at military and civilian targets, indiscriminately destroying entire cities. Dictator Putin will not be done until he crushes Kiev and kills elected President Zelensky. In his eyes, Ukraine is guilty of having chosen democracy in 2014 instead of reconstituting the Soviet Union. Until then, he sows death and desolation on a civilian population, while his soldiers are killed on a large scale.

On the contrary, in Russia, it is believed that the fighting is limited to specific areas, the Donbass, the coast of the Sea of Azov and military targets everywhere else. Certainly, there have been some casualties, but not a massacre. One observes with amazement the support that the former allies of the Great Patriotic War (the Second World War) give to the Banderists, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis. We wait until they are all neutralized so that peace can return.

In the background, the West has launched an economic and financial war against Russia. Many Western companies are leaving the country and are immediately replaced by others from countries not involved in this war. For example, McDonald’s restaurants will be replaced by the Turkish chain Chitik Chicken, while the United Arab Emirates welcome the oligarchs driven out of Europe. China and the Eurasian Economic Community are planning to set up an economic and financial system parallel to the Bretton Woods system. In short, the world is being split in two.

Who is telling the truth?

The Russian secret services are convinced that President Volodymyr Zelensky has fled from Kiev and that he makes his video interventions from a studio. They scrutinize all his messages to locate where he is hiding.

THE WAR ITSELF

According to observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), that is, the intergovernmental forum created by the Helsinki Accords (1973-75), the front of Donbass was stable for several months, when the bombing resumed from Wednesday, February 16, 2022 to reach their peak on Friday 18 (more than 1,400 explosions were heard). The local governments of Donestk and Lugansk then withdrew more than 100,000 people to protect them from this deluge of fire.

On the evening of the 18th, the annual meeting of NATO elites, the “Munich Security Conference”, began. One of the most prominent guests was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. On the 19th, he took the floor and declared that his country had ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons against Russia. On the 20th, the Duma was in turmoil in Moscow and voted a motion asking President Putin to recognize the two Donbass republics as independent, which he did in a hurry on the evening of the 21st. There were not even any flags of the two new nations in the Kremlin.

On the 24th, the Russian military operation began with a massive bombardment of anti-aircraft systems, then of the arms factories and barracks of the Banderists (Ukrainian neo-Nazis). The Russian military strategy was improvised, as was the diplomatic recognition of the Donbass republics. The troops deployed were already exhausted by the maneuvers they had just carried out in Belarus.

The White House and the Western press, on the other hand, ignoring the war in Donbass and the statements of President Zelenskyy, claimed that all this had been planned for a long time and that the Russian troops had been positioned in advance. The dictator Putin, not supporting the choice of Ukrainians for democracy, forced them to reintegrate his Empire as Leonid Brezhnev had forced the Czechoslovakians into line in 1968. This reading of events caused panic among all the former members of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union (who forgot that Brezhnev was not Russian, but Ukrainian).

Since then, applying the technique developed by Jamie Shea during the Kosovo war, NATO has been writing a new edifying story about Russia’s crimes every day. It ranges from the irresponsible bombing of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant on the Russian border to the touching anecdote of a young child who reaches freedom alone by crossing Europe to Berlin. All of this is ridiculous and appalling, but widely reported without reflection or verification by the Western media.

Joel Lion, then ambassador in Kiev, warned against the banditry. He is now working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel.

THE DIPLOMATIC WAR

With things going badly for the Ukrainian army and its Banderist (or “neo-Nazi” in Russian terminology) supporters, President Zelenskyy asked the Chinese embassy in Kiev to send a request for negotiations to the Kremlin on the second day of the conflict. The United States initially objected, but then allowed it to happen. During the contacts, France and Germany took initiatives before being replaced by Turkey and Israel. This is quite normal. Indeed, France and Germany failed in their responsibilities by allowing Kiev to massacre 13,000 to 22,000 people in violation of the Minsk agreements of which they were the guarantors. While Turkey supported the Ukrainian Tatars without taking any action in Ukraine, and Israel suddenly became aware that the Bandarist (i.e. “neo-Nazi”) danger that its ambassador in Kiev was denouncing was real.

These negotiations are going well, despite the murder by Ukrainian banditry of a delegate from their own country, the banker Denis Kireev, guilty in their eyes of having claimed that Ukrainians and Russians were Slavic brothers. Despite the blunder of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who thought it was clever to remind them that France is a nuclear power, causing Russia to go on nuclear alert.

These negotiations could end in a way that is difficult to imagine: Ukraine, which had included 102,000 banditry troops in its territorial defense forces, could be disarmed and placed under the protection of the United States and the United Kingdom (i.e., in practice, NATO). This is the only way to comply with the treaties, including the Istanbul (1999) and Astana (2010) declarations. Ukraine has the right to choose its allies, but not to receive foreign weapons in its country. It can therefore sign defense agreements, but not be placed in an integrated command. This is a very Gaullian position: Charles De Gaulle kept France’s signature to the North Atlantic Treaty, but withdrew the French army from the integrated command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and drove the US soldiers out of French soil.

Russia should permanently occupy, or even annex, the coast of the Sea of Azov (including Mariupol) in order to join Crimea to the Donbass. In addition, it should occupy, or even annex, the North Crimean Canal, which supplies drinking water to the Crimean peninsula. Finally, it could occupy or even annex the Black Sea coast (including Odessa) in order to join Crimea to Transnistria (ER: in Moldova). The Hungarian minority, also a victim of the Banderists who closed their schools, could be attached to Hungary. However, the best is the enemy of the good: Ukraine’s loss of access to the sea could be a cause of future conflict.

ER: inserted map

The only thing that is certain is that Russia will continue its action until all the banditry has been neutralized and that Israel will support it in this, but not beyond. From this point of view, the meeting that President Putin called in Moscow “against the Nazis” is not a simple message of determination to his public opinion, it is already a victory cry. All monuments to Stepan Bandera and the Nazis must be destroyed. The other nations that supported the neo-Nazis, including Latvia, should take it for granted.

Sergey Glazyev is making a comeback. After playing a role in the privatization of Soviet public assets, he could build a new global financial system.

THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL WAR

This is where everything is at stake for the United States. In a few days, it has managed to make all its allies take unilateral measures (and therefore illegal under international law). But these measures, described as “sanctions” although without judgement, are not tenable in the medium term. They have already led to unbridled speculation on energy and an immediate rise in prices in Europe. The big European companies are leaving Russia with a heavy heart. They assure the Kremlin that they have no choice and hope to return as soon as possible.

President Vladimir Putin is putting forward the liberals who were accused not long ago of being sold out to foreigners. Former president Dmitry Medvedev is back in favor. The head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, who was chosen at the time of the romance with the West, was presented to the Duma to succeed herself, but now to work with other partners. Sergey Glazyev, whose name is associated with the privatizations of the Yelstin era, has been entrusted with the creation of a new economic and financial system to replace the one conceived by the Anglo-Saxons in 1944, Bretton Woods. All is forgiven as long as they guarantee the Chinese and the Eurasian Economic Community (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan) that they will not be statist.

Pope Francis has agreed to awaken the old demons of the crusades. On March 25, he will consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, according to the vows transmitted by the visionaries of Fatima during the Russian revolution.

THE IDEOLOGICAL WAR

The peace in Ukraine will not solve the Russian-US conflict opened since December 17, 2021. It will continue with other confrontations. For their part, the Straussians, who have used and abused religious arguments to attack Russia in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Chechnya and the wider Middle East, intend to use them on a global scale.

Let us remember that the Straussian orientalist Bernard Lewis (former British intelligence officer, then member of the US National Security Council, then adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu) had devised a way to mobilize the Arabs, instead of the West, against the Russians. It was the strategy of the “clash of civilizations”. He explained that in Afghanistan, Muslim believers had to fight against the atheistic Soviets. This vision was realized by Osama bin Laden’s Arab-Afghans. The same strategy was used successfully in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Chechnya. In the first theater of operation, NATO relied on the Saudi army and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (as well as some elements of the Lebanese Hezbollah). A Staussian, Richard Perle, even became the diplomatic adviser to Bosnian President Alija Izetbegović, for whom Osama bin Laden was the military adviser. Later, during the Second Chechen War, the Straussians organized the alliance between Ukrainian Banderists and Chechen Islamists (Ternopol Congress, 2007), with logistical support from the Milli Görüş (then led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan). All fought side by side for the Islamic Emirate of Itchkeria (Chechnya). Ultimately, Bernard Lewis’ strategy was popularized by his assistant, Samuel Huntington. However, he no longer presented it as a military plan, but as an inevitability that conveniently explained the attribution of the 9/11 attacks to Muslims in general.

Considering that nothing stops people who fight in the belief that they are serving God, the Straussians decided four years ago to reactivate the schism that separated the Catholics from the Orthodox in the 11th century. They first set out to split the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate. They succeeded with the help of Turkey, which put pressure on the Patriarch of Constantinople. It is now a matter of unleashing passions by resurrecting the Fatima prophecies. In 1917, just after the Russian revolution, Portuguese visionaries had apparitions of the Virgin Mary. She entrusted them with various messages, one of which implicitly denounced the overthrow of the Tsar by divine right. Russia was presented as choosing evil and trying to spread it. Therefore, the National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, went to Rome, on the occasion of a meeting with China, in fact to convince Pope Francis. He succeeded.

A timetable was worked out. President Zelenskyy will address the French parliament, then President Biden will come to Europe to preside over an extraordinary NATO summit, and finally Pope Francis, fulfilling the prayer of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, will consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin (ER: on March 25). This montage may appear artificial, but its effect should be powerful. For many Catholics, fighting Russia will become a religious duty.

CONCLUSION

In the coming weeks, President Joe Biden will have to try his hand at a new speech. It will be to present the peace in Ukraine as a victory of wisdom. It does not matter that the Ukrainians gambled and lost. It doesn’t matter that the Banditos are prisoners or dead. It does not matter that Ukraine loses its access to the sea. The Allies will be asked to increase their military spending and pay with their own money for all this carnage.

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Published to The Liberty Beacon from EuropeReloaded.com

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Foreign Fighters Flee from Ukraine


ER Editor: We highly recommend watching the brief video posted below in a tweet.

We recollect it was Michael Shrimpton who said recently that any kind of military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. would be completely different (from a western military standpoint) to anything these ex-soldiers would be up against today with Russia’s state-of-the-art conventional forces in Ukraine.

It’s linked to below, but we also recommend reading Paul Antonopoulous’ March 14th post, titled Ukraine’s Foreign Legion has clear neo-Nazi links.

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Foreign Fighters Flee from Ukraine

PAUL ANTONOPOULOS

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Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III Scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The history of this war must be understood.

The bombing and shelling led by Ukraine’s Armed Forces directed against the people of Donbass started eight years ago, resulting in the destruction of residential areas and more than 10,000 civilian casualties.

A  bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


On February 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a plea for foreigners to fight against the Russian military. In a statement, Zelensky said, among other things, that

“This is not just Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules and peaceful coexistence.”

He added: “Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.”

In this way, Zelensky portrayed the conflict as one between a Ukraine that defends Western values, human rights and its political system against “Russian war criminals.” This narrative was disseminated at great lengths by Western media, who at the same time scoffed at the idea of a “de-Nazification” of Ukraine.

Omitted from Western media is the fact that openly neo-Nazi groups like the Mariupol-based Azov Battalion are official units of the Republican Guard, which is under the direct command of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. It also omits that Stepan Bandera (ER: pictured), a Nazi collaborator in World War II who encouraged Ukrainians to

“destroy” Jews and Poles, leading to tens of thousands of deaths, is being rehabilitated in Ukraine and even had a major avenue in Kiev renamed after him. This is just two examples of the “Nazification” of Ukraine that is being purposefully ignored by the West.

None-the-less, by portraying the war in Ukraine as a struggle of liberalism against authoritarianism, Western liberals are whitewashing the Far Right and other foreign fighters from a myriad of illiberal ideologies as they descend on Ukraine to fight the Russians. According to Kiev, by March 6 at least 20,000 foreign fighters from 55 countries had entered Ukraine to fight against Russians.

The volunteers are a mix of neo-Nazis, radical Islamists, naïve liberals, pan-Turkists and a variety of Russophobes. Although Western media are lionising the foreign fighters, the accounts they give of their time in Ukraine are truly horrifying – from being tortured by Ukrainian soldiers, to being used as cannon fodder, and facing devastating missile strikes from Russian forces.

One American volunteer, who said he was with the Georgian National Legion of the 122nd Territorial Defense Brigade (Odessa), said on social media that “our base got f***ed up. The base right next to us got f***ed up.” He also said that Americans and “tons of British” were dead.

He explained that foreign volunteers are being sent to the front lines without sufficient weapons or armor. He continues to explain that when they refused to go and fight near Kiev under such conditions, Ukrainian soldiers threatened to shoot them, forcing the American volunteer and others to escape the country. However, he also explained that Ukrainian soldiers were cutting up the passports of foreign fighters and forcing them to the front. He chillingly warned: “People need to stop coming here, it’s a trap, and they’re not letting you f***ing leave.”

One British fighter, an ex-Army medic named Jason Haigh, told The Sun newspaper on March 9 that he was detained by Ukrainian authorities who were carrying cable ties. He said that Ukrainian authorities slammed his head and hit him several times, resulting in a bad concussion and heavy bleeding. Eventually, he and his group were released and joined hundreds of thousands on trains to Lviv, before fleeing to the Polish border and getting a train to Warsaw.

It is also recalled that a Brazilian foreign fighter uploaded to his social media a harrowing account of the Russian strike against the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) near Lviv and the Polish border on March 13, saying:

“I don’t even know what to say… there were special forces soldiers from all over the world [US, France, South Korea, Chile]. The information we have is that everyone died, they [Russians] managed to destroy everything… you guys don’t understand what it means when a jet drops a missile on you. Thank God I got out earlier.”

In this way, despite the lionising of foreign fighters in Ukraine by the Western media, it certainly appears that their experience has been nothing short of terrifying. It also appears that many of the foreign fighters are naïve to the fact that there are clear links between the Foreign Legion (ER: the Foreign Legion of Ukraine) and Ukraine’s neo-Nazis.

In addition, the Australian government warned on March 15 that volunteers could end up being “cannon fodder” for Ukraine. This matches up with Matthew Robinson, a British volunteer who stressed that foreigners “can be railroaded into a legion and sent to the front line very quickly. Even though you’ve got the best of intentions to help people, you could basically be cannon fodder.”

It can be suggested that Ukraine is intentionally trying to drive up the body count of foreigners fighting against Russia to create international outrage in the hope of forcing a foreign intervention. However, due to volunteers fighting in an unofficial capacity, there is no correlation between the death of foreigners and activating NATO’s mutual defense policy.

************

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Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

Featured image is from kyivindependent.com

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The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

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