Russian Federation Hybrid war around the world

Kizzeb2019

Kizzeb2019

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Hybrid warfare of Russian Federation we will be discussing diplomacy ,fake news, Influencing methods ,non-traditional war technics ....
 
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    Kizzeb2019

    Well-Known Member
    80% of Russia’s Coronavirus Aid to Italy ‘Useless’ – La Stampa


    March 26, 2020
    Sources claimed that Putin is pursuing geopolitical and diplomatic opportunities in Italy with the military aid package.Russian Defense Ministry / TASS
    Around 80% of the coronavirus supplies that Russia has sent to Italy are “useless,” the country’s La Stampa daily reported Wednesday, citing high-level political sources.
    Russia sent 600 ventilators and 100 military virologists and epidemiologists to Italy following talks between President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last Saturday. Footage of Russian military trucks en route from Rome to the coronavirus epicenter of Bergamo circulated online this week.

    “Eighty percent of Russian supplies are totally useless or of little use to Italy. In short, this is little more than a pretext,” an unnamed source told La Stampa.
    The source said the Russian supplies consist of disinfection equipment, a field laboratory for sterilization and chemical prevention, and other similar tools.
    La Stampa’s sources claimed that Putin is pursuing geopolitical and diplomatic opportunities with the aid package dubbed “From Russia With Love,” while Conte accepted the aid in order to secure a good personal relationship with Moscow.

    Russia’s Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov dismissed La Stampa’s report as “perverse.”
    “Such assertions are the product of a perverse mind. A selfless desire to help a friendly people in trouble is seen as insidious,” Razov told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
    With more than 7,500 victims and 74,000 overall cases, Italy has recorded more coronavirus-related deaths than any other country.

     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

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    ERIK PRINCE OFFERED LETHAL SERVICES TO SANCTIONED RUSSIAN MERCENARY FIRM WAGNER

    Matthew Cole, Alex Emmons
    April 13 2020, 6:15 p.m.

    ERIK PRINCE, FOUNDER of the private security firm Blackwater and a Trump administration adviser, has sought in recent months to provide military services to a sanctioned Russian mercenary firm in at least two African conflicts, according to three people with knowledge of the efforts.
    Prince, who is the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, met earlier this year with a top official of Russia’s Wagner Group and offered his mercenary forces to support the firm’s operations in Libya and Mozambique, according to two people familiar with Prince’s offer.
    Wagner officials said they are not interested in working with Prince, three people familiar with their decision told The Intercept.
    A lawyer for Prince denied that his client met anyone from Wagner.

    https://theintercept.com/newsletter/?campaign=Article-In&referrer_post_id=300482
    The Wagner Group is a semi-private military force that operates in countries or conflicts where the Russian government seeks plausible deniability for its activities. It is often equipped and supported directly by the Russian Ministry of Defense, according to reports and experts who track Wagner’s activities. The U.S. State Department website also lists Wagner as an entity connected to the “Defense Sector of the Government of the Russian Federation.” Any business relationship between Prince and Wagner would, in effect, make the influential Trump administration adviser a subcontractor to the Russian military.
    In recent years, the Russian government has deployed Wagner to several African countries, Ukraine, and Syria, where the U.S. military killed dozens of Wagner fighters in 2018 after the Russians and their Syrian allies attacked an oil facility that the United States was defending.
    “Wagner Group is an instrument of Russian policy. It works under the GRU, which is the Russian military intelligence,” said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former military contractor who has written about mercenaries.
    In attempting to do business with Wagner, Prince may have exposed himself to legal liability.
    In attempting to do business with Wagner, Prince may also have exposed himself to legal liability. In 2017, the Trump administration sanctioned Wagner, as well as its founder and head Dmitry Utkin, for having “recruited and sent soldiers to fight alongside [Russian-backed] separatists in eastern Ukraine” during the 2014 Russian invasion. The Russian government denied involvement in the invasion, even as its forces occupied and took control of Crimea, also in Ukrainian territory, in violation of international law.
    The sanctions prohibit individuals or companies from providing “financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.” They also forbid anyone “to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf” of Wagner. The 2017 addition of Wagner to the sanctions list builds on a 2014 executive order signed by President Barack Obama.
    “In my experience, the act of soliciting from a sanctioned party would indeed be an apparent violation,” said Brian O’Toole, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council and former senior sanctions official at the Treasury Department. “Whether you make that [legal] case is an entirely separate matter,” he said, adding that pitching business to Wagner “would seem to be a fairly egregious thing to do.”



    When Prince met with Wagner leadership, he was already under federal investigation for violating arms trafficking regulations. The proposal to the Russian firm also raises questions about whether Trump administration officials authorized the meeting or were aware of Prince’s efforts to work with the group.
    A former Navy SEAL who rose to prominence and notoriety as head of the private security firm Blackwater, Prince has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, serving as an unofficial adviser on military and foreign policy issues in Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. Prince was a Trump donor in 2016 and has worked to support the president politically while proposing private military solutions that would benefit his companies financially.
    Early in the Trump administration, Prince proposed privatizing the war in Afghanistan and supplying Trump with a private spy service intended to circumvent the U.S. intelligence community. Neither proposal succeeded, despite having support for some of his ideas from senior administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
    For years, Prince has tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to win military contracts with governments in Africa and the Middle East. Wagner has become an increasingly visible player in the region as Russia’s influence there has grown, allowing the country to operate under the radar at a time when “plausible deniability is more powerful than firepower,” according to McFate, the mercenary expert.
    “The reason why groups like Wagner exist is that modern war is getting sneakier and mercenaries are a great way to get things done in the shadows.”
    “The reason why groups like Wagner exist, and the reason why people like Erik Prince [are] succeeding, is that modern war is getting sneakier and mercenaries and groups like Wagner are a great way to get things done in the shadows,” McFate said.
    Libya has been divided and in conflict since the U.S. and NATO allies removed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The United Nations and most of the international community, including the U.S, recognize the Government of National Accord in the Libyan capital Tripoli as the country’s official leaders. But the eastern portion of the country is led by strongman Khalifa Hifter, who tried last year to take Tripoli. Both sides are backed by foreign powers that have continually violated a U.N. embargo on military support. Turkey and Qatar have supported the GNA, while Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have backed Hifter.
    Last spring, Hifter’s forces, the Libyan National Army, moved to take Tripoli, but were thwarted within days. Hifter turned to Moscow and Wagner. Americans are prohibited from aiding either side of the conflict without U.S. government authorization.
    At the same time, Prince sought to provide a force in Mozambique, where the government has been fighting a small insurgency over the past two years. President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique flew to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in August 2019. The countries signed several trade pacts, and Russia agreed to send military aid. Russian military hardware and Russian nationals working for Wagner arrived in Mozambique in September, according to news reports.
    After Wagner lost more than a dozen fighters in Mozambique, Prince sent a proposal to the Russian firm offering to supply a ground force as well as aviation-based surveillance, according to documents viewed by The Intercept and a person familiar with Prince’s proposal.
    Prince has also served as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, for more than a decade. Under bin Zayed’s leadership, the UAE, a close regional ally of the U.S., has intervened militarily in several regional wars in the Middle East and Africa. A pariah during the Obama administration, Prince was taken in by the Emirati crown prince and awarded a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to create and train a presidential guard for the royal family. He was later removed for mismanagement, among other reasons.
    Prince also has ties to China. He is co-chair of Frontier Services Group, a Hong-Kong based logistics company he founded and whose largest investor is the Chinese government. The Intercept has previously reportedthat the U.S. government has investigated Prince for his ties to China’s intelligence service. The conflicts between Prince’s commercial interests and the goals of the many governments that retain his services have piled up as Prince has tried to sell military and mercenary capabilities around the world. FSG, for example, signed a contract for fishing rights in Mozambique around the same time Prince began exploring defense contracts there. The fishing contract has since been dissolved, according to the company.
    “The conflicts of interest are deep and threaten democracy when you have a free agent going between the U.S. and its main power rivals,” said McFate. “It would never clear an intelligence community background check. This is a dangerous thing for any democracy.”

     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

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    ‘Russia’s Wagner tried to bring Gaddafi’s son to power’
    Article by US-based media company Bloomberg asserts relationship between Gaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam and Russia
    Enes Canli |22.03.2020

    The Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary company, met Libya's deposed ruler Muammar Gaddafi's son to bring him into power, the U.S.-based media company Bloomberg claimed in an article on Saturday.

    The article penned by Samer Al-Atrush asserted a relationship between Gaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam and Russia.

    According to the article, two Russian agents working for the Wagner were caught last year by Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli.

    The documents stored in the hard disks of the captured Russian agents revealed that the agents met three times with Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gaddafi, who was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    In one of the meetings, Saif Al-Islam used numerous documents about his father’s financial aid for election campaigns in some Western countries as a trump card, the article asserted.

    A Russian election campaign advisor also joined one of the meetings, the article said, and Russia offered to portray Gaddafi's son as a rising actor in the country in a possible election.

    In the meetings, Saif Al-Islam claimed that 80% of the fighters loyal to the renegade General Khalifa Haftar are his supporters and if Haftar captured the capital, those fighters would support Saif Al-Islam, according to the notes of Russian agents.

    In one of the meetings, Saif Al-Islam and Russian agents discussed training of social media experts to create a group of specialists who will share messages over social media.

    Russian agents noted down that Saif Al-Islam was very interested in counter-propaganda.

    According to the notes of the last meeting reached by Bloomberg, Saif Al-Islam would give to Russians the list of commanders loyal to him in the next meeting.

    Additionally, it was claimed that one of the advisors of Saif Al-Islam admitted the meetings.

    According to the article, the advisor said that although Saif Al-Islam and his supporters wanted to develop good relations with the Western countries, the Russians were the first to help them.

    Wagner Group

    Russia’s Wagner Group is one of the most controversial groups among the mercenaries. It is owned by to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    According to Bloomberg, it was reported that the Wagner Group, where over 1000 militias came to Libya, brought Russian pilots who carried out training activities for the Haftar troops, and Russian Sukhoi-22 type war planes are seen in Libyan skies.

    Mercenaries who previously had field experience in Ukraine, are fighting on the front-line in Libya, according to Euronews.

    Haftar's militia unit 'Libyan National Army'

    Haftar calls the group he leads as the "Libyan National Army" and wants to be treated like an official army. In fact, Haftar's armed force works like a "dealership" and tries to gather militias under one roof.

    A large number of militias from Libyan tribes in the east and west have joined the ranks. Others who have joined the putschist commander include members from the public committees established by former ruler Gaddafi, the extremist Madkhali Salafists, Janjaweed militias of Sudan -- who have a very controversial history in Sudan -- the rebels in Chad, Russian mercenaries, and military officers from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France.

    It is claimed that the force comprises 25,000-30,000 militias, including trained military personnel of 7,000. The Brigade 106, the largest and best armed among them, is commanded by Saddam Haftar, his son.

    The rallying cry for the brigade is Khamis, the name of one of the son's of Gaddafi.

    Since the ouster of late ruler Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

    The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 people killed in the violence.

    *Writing by Fahri Aksut

     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

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    Wagner Group
    Private Military Company ‘Wagner’, a.k.a.
    Chastnaya Voennaya Kompaniya ‘Vagner’, a.k.a.
    Chvk Vagner, a.k.a.
    PMC Wagner, a.k.a.

    "Wagner group" is a Russian paramilitary organization associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and close associate of President Vladimir Putin. Vagner commanders have fought for the company both in Syria and, before that, in support of Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Wagner Group seem like something from Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina. In the novel, the main character Count Alexei Vronsky leaves to Serbia as a volunteer to fight against the Ottoman Empire as a part of a squadron he formed at his own expense. Pervasive in Russian literature these militias were used by tsars to pacify internal unrest and to achieve directed military and policy objectives. Today, Russian foreign policy has embraced many of the same ambitions that were born out of a need for “plausible deniability” in Kremlin’s military operations abroad.

    The Wagner Group’s roots date back to Russia’s proxy war in Ukraine in 2014, when the Kremlin’s definitions of “soldier,” “mercenary” and “volunteer” first blurred at convenience amid its tacit support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east. While Moscow has long insisted Russia is not formally part of the conflict, Russian fighters have routinely taken part in battles — lured by idealism, propaganda and money.

    “A huge number of people went to work for Wagner with pleasure,” explained journalist Denis Korotov of Fontanka.ru, an online publication in Saint Petersburg who first broke news of the Wagner mercenaries. “Russia has more than enough people who know how to shoot a gun, and these people can’t make anything close to this kind of money working in the civilian sector,” he added in an interview with VOA in January 2018.

    Officially, the Vagner mercenaries sign contracts for civilian work in oil and gas fields. Mercenaries can earn 150,000 rubles ($2,650) a month, plus a bonus of up to 100 percent for completing a three-month tour. In three months, a mercenary can make nearly a million rubles. A commander can earn about three times as much. But a fighter who changes his mind is sent back to the supply port to unload crates at 1,000 rubles a day.

    Russian online investigative newspaper Fontantka provided evidence that around 500 pro-Syrian fighters – most of whom spoke Russian – played a pivotal role in the efforts to seize Palmyra and Deir Ezzor in 2016 and 2017. Leaked telephone conversations revealed Prigozhin himself ordered the assault. The commanders RFE/RL spoke with in 2018 estimated that some 400 Russians have been killed in Syria since 2015. Not all the killed mercenaries, they said, are returned to Russia.

    "There is a rumor that Vagner is a so-called meat-grinder project," one of the commanders said. "What is to be done with those who fought in Donbas? With the idiots from the first wave who are real ideologues? These are scary people who could catalyze society. They can cause trouble like yeast in bread. But in Syria, you can help the interests of the country and get rid of some yeast at the same time. That's what some people are saying. And probably there is something to it."

    The representative of the co-owner of the group of companies Yevgeny Prigozhin told RBC 15 November 2017 that the businessman was not related to the "Wagner" PMC and is generally surprised by the very fact of its existence (mercenarism in Russia is legally banned). "We are not aware of the activities of the organization you mentioned. Also, Yevgeny Viktorovich asked to convey that he was extremely surprised by the very existence of this company and does not have anything to do with its activities, "said the representative of the businessman.

    "The appointment of Dmitry Valerievich Utkin as general director is a private decision of the owner of Concord Management and Consulting LLC," the representative of the businessman said. He added that previously Utkin had never held positions in the structures of an entrepreneur. "SPARK-Interfax" reported that this post was taken by Dmitry Valerievich Utkin - the full namesake of the alleged commander of the "Wagner" PMC.

    PMC Wagner is a private military company that recruited and sent soldiers to fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine. When fighting broke out in 2014 in eastern Ukraine between the pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian government forces, Russia limited its presence there to clandestine troop deployments and funding and training for the rebels. Former Russian soldiers were recruited to join the separatists by a shadowy company called the Wagner Group, whose founder, Lt. Col. Dmitriy Utkin, came under US Treasury Department sanctions for the firm's actions in Ukraine.

    The mercenary groups worked hand-in-hand with the Russian military. They trained at a military facility near Rostov-on-Don and were commanded by experienced officers from the special services and the Defense Ministry. By June 2014, the first groups of about 250 mercenaries each had crossed the border into Ukraine. "They were basically company-sized tactical groups," one commander said. "There were no private military contractors then, but people were paid on time."

    One of the groups sent to Ukraine was headed by Utkin, who fought under the nom de guerre Vagner, after 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner. Dmitriy Utkin is the founder and leader of PMC Wagner. It is said that Vagner has a swastika tattooed on his shoulder, wears a helmet with horns, and practices a form of paganism.

    The first Russian mercenaries were sent to Syria by an organization called Slavic Corps in 2013 -- 267 men, according to an investigation by the St. Petersburg website Fontanka.ru. Their official mission was to guard oil facilities and pipelines, but they were soon caught up in the country's civil war and suffered heavy losses. When the survivors returned to Moscow in October 2013, their leaders were arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for illegal mercenary activity.

    Nonetheless, the idea of a role for mercenaries apparently took hold somewhere among the Russian authorities. In 2014, as Moscow was annexing Ukraine's Crimea region and stoking a separatist war in eastern Ukraine, a Soviet and Russian army officer named Dmitry Utkin and others began forming paramilitary units to fight in Ukraine's Donbas.

    The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on 20 June 2017 reinforced existing sanctions on Russia by designating or identifying a range of individuals and entities involved in the ongoing conflict under four Executive orders (E.O.s) related to Russia and Ukraine. As a result of these action, any property or interest in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving these persons are generally prohibited.

    PMC Wagner was being designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine. Utkin is being designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; and for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, PMC Wagner. Prigozhin was sanctioned in 2016 by the US, which cited his companies' Defense Ministry contracts related to the conflict in Ukraine.

    Wagner links soon emerged in Syria, where the Kremlin launched a military campaign in support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in the fall of 2015. Although President Vladimir Putin insisted at the outset that Russia’s military role would be limited, “Wagner became the Kremlin’s main tactical group in Syria. Because the Syrian army can’t do the job on their own,” Ruslan Leviev of the Conflict Intelligence Team, a group of researchers who have also tracked Wagners movements using online forensics stated 07 August 2018. “An air campaign can’t win the war and a ground invasion meant big losses,” he added.

    Putin wanted Russia's involvement in Syria to be different from its intervention in Afghanistan and Chechnya, which claimed many lives and were widely unpopular. The secret deployment of private contractors in Syria has helped keep the official Russian death toll low as Putin sought re-election. When Russians were killed in February 2018 in a US attack in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province, the Russian government insisted that Moscow did not send them there. Hiring mercenaries or working as one is against Russian law.

    The Wagner group “is not a classic private contractor; it is ... an unofficial arm of the Defense Ministry,” said Ruslan Leviev, whose Conflict Intelligence Team studied the clandestine Russian deployment in Syria. He said Prigozhin was the right person to take up the task,” compared to any other oligarch of Putin’s.” Evro Polis, a company linked to Prigozhin, signed an agreement with Syria’s state-owned General Petroleum Corp., which gives the Russian company 25 percent of the proceeds from oil and gas production at fields its contractors capture and secure.

    In February 2018, an unknown number of Russian mercenaries -- some reports say a dozen, others as many as 200 -- were killed by U.S. air strikes during fighting in Syria. The men were hired by a private military contracting firm called ChVK Vagner, which has been sending Russians to fight in Syria since 2015.

    The Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria said they are not in the country for the money or to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "[Syrians] can't stand Assad," one Russian mercenary commander told RFE/RL in March 2018. "Really. Only a tiny percentage of the population there supports him and the rest oppose him. Only [Russian President Vladimir] Putin supports him. Russia supports him -- no one else." There is a bigger motivation, the mercenary claimed. "If you are fighting under a Russian flag, with a Russian weapon, even if you are eating moldy food and are 10,000 kilometers from home, you are nonetheless fighting for Russia," he said. "There is no Syrian war," he added. "There is no Ukrainian war. There is only a war between the Russian Federation and the United States."

    RFE/RL's sources estimated in early 2018 that there were about 2,000 Vagner fighters in Syria, although other media reports put the figure at 4,000. In addition, the Vagner troops fight together with a unit called Karpaty, which is made up primarily of about 300 Cossacks with Ukrainian citizenship.

    The mercenary groups worked hand-in-hand with the Russian military. They trained at a military facility near Rostov-on-Don and were commanded by experienced officers from the special services and the Defense Ministry. By June 2014, the first groups of about 250 mercenaries each had crossed the border into Ukraine. They were basically company-sized tactical groups. There were no private military contractors then, but people were paid on time.

    By 2018 there were several Russian private military contracting companies working in the country, but only the Vagner troops are said to engage in combat operations. RFE/RL's sources estimated that there are about 2,000 Vagner fighters in Syria, although other media reports put the figure at 4,000. In addition, the Vagner troops fight together with a unit called Karpaty, which is made up primarily of about 300 Cossacks with Ukrainian citizenship. Including Russian military forces, there are some 8,000 Russians supporting Assad in Syria now, the commanders say. "There were 6,000, but they announced a draw-down and reduced it to 8,000," one commander quipped to RFE.

    In the Central African Republic, by 2018 some contended Wagner’s mission had shifted once again — this time, to protect economic as well as political interests. Media reports suggest Wagnerites are there to flush out — or, perhaps, blend in with — 175 Russian civilian and military “instructors” tasked within a larger United Nations mission aimed at shoring up the CAR’s government amid a civil war. The Kremlin has also openly worked with CAR to develop its diamond and mineral industries. “We conclude that the ‘Russian civilian instructors’ in CAR are in fact Russian mercenaries from Wagner,” says Conflict Intelligence Team’s Ruslan Leviev. Russian officials, in turn, stress the Russian presence is there with UN backing. “There is nothing sensational about the presence of Russian instructors in the Central African Republic,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “No one has been concealing anything.”

    The company M-Invest, which Prigozhin is rumoured to own, has an interest in Sudan’s gold deposits and Libya’s oil-rich east region, presumably secured by offering various military services in exchange for natural resource contracts. Wagner’s influence might go even deeper. Proekt Media, an independent Russian news outlet, produced four lengthy reports unearthing a CAR government mining contract with Prigozhin’s conglomerate Lobaye Invest.

    It finances the training of army recruits in the CAR by some 250 Russian mercenaries. Attempts at scrutiny became even more complicated when three Russian journalists investigating Wagner’s activities in the CAR were murdered under mysterious circumstances in the summer of 2018, and two additional individuals who tried to investigate their murder were poisoned. Unfortunately, details on Wagner’s deployments in CAR are scarce, but based on what can be gleaned from sources available, they follow a similar pattern.
    Wagner Group a.k.a. Private Military Company Wagner, a.k.a. Chastnaya Voennaya Kompaniya Vagner, a.k.a.
     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

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    SBU Major-General Suspected of Being Russian Spy Arrested
    14 April, 2020
    6f95174a43156234c

    Shaytanov faces charges of treason and of taking part in terrorist acts. The Security Service of Ukraine

    The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has released a statement saying that their counter-intelligence wing has detained an SBU major-general, Valeriy Shaytanov, on suspicion of being a Russian spy recruited by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Shaytanov now faces charges of treason and of taking part in terrorist acts. The SBU believes that Shaytanov had also planned the murder of Chechen Adam Osmaev, who took part in the Donbas conflict on the Ukrainian side as a volunteer.
    “Unfortunately, a person who received the rank of general after the Revolution of Dignity and who was supposed to defend Ukraine, was actually working against it. We conducted a long, complicated, and multi-level special operation,” stated SBU head Ivan Bakanov.
    Shaytanov was one of the former heads of Special Operations Group A at the SBU, while at the same time he was acting as a spy for FSB agent Igor Egorov, under the codename “Bobil.” Egorov works for the FSB’s Department of Counterintelligence Operations 1 – a subdivision of the FSB that specializes in planning, organizing, and executing surveillance, sabotage, and terrorist acts – both in Ukraine and in other countries.
    СБУ обнародовала доказательства контактов генерал-майора СБУ Валерия Шайтанова со своим куратором полковником ФСБ РФ Игорем Егоровым. 14 апреля 2020 года
    Translation (from top to bottom): Egorov met Shaytanov and his henchman, Agent “N” – in Europe. France. Germany. Croatia.
    “Under the command of the [Russian Federation’s] special services, Major-General Shaytanov planned to enact terrorist acts on Ukrainian soil. For his actions, the FSB guaranteed compensation of $200,000 and Russian citizenship and passport,”reads the SBU statement.
    The SBU also claims that Shaytanov specifically recruited former special forces operatives to commit his crimes – one of whom is given the codename “Agent N” in audio recordings (audio in Russian) released by the agency.

    SBU Major-General Suspected of Being Russian Spy Arrested
     
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    Kizzeb2019

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    Italian PM scolds Russians over La Stampa spy spat
    Italian newspaper claims 104-strong contingent of doctors and experts almost certainly included officers from the GRU
    By DAVE MAKICHUKAPRIL 6, 2020

    GRU intelligence headquarters in Moscow. Credit: AFP.
    As if Italian officials didn’t already have enough on their hands with the deadly coronavirus causing havoc — a media report now suggests the Russians have placed GRU spies amid its aid contingent, sparking a war of words between the two nations, Yahoo News reported.
    The Russians came last week to help disinfect hospitals and care homes in a northern Italian region that has recorded over half of the country’s 14,681 official Covid-19 deaths, the report said.
    It was a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin to exert “soft power” at a moment of dire weakness for the West.
    But Italy’s La Stamp newspaper said Thursday that the 104-strong contingent of doctors and experts almost certainly included officers from Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, the report said.


    “Without a doubt, there are GRU officers among them,” former NATO chemical weapons expert Hamish De Bretton-Gordon told the paper.
    Britain accuses GRU officers of trying to poison former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal in England in 2018, the report said.
    The GRU — which stands for the Main Intelligence Directorate — has a long-running program to run ‘illegal’ spies who work without diplomatic cover and who live under an assumed identity for years until orders from Moscow.
    “We can assume that (the Russian team) will want to find out as much about Italian forces as possible and set up intelligence networks,” the former NATO expert told La Stampa.
    Moscow’s response was livid and swift.
    Its embassy in Rome tweeted a statement from a defence ministry spokesman condemning La Stampa’s “Russophobic Cold War fake news.”
    The defence ministry accused the Italian paper of “hiding behind the ideals of free speech” to spread stories reminiscent of “anti-Soviet propaganda.”
    The vehemence of Russia’s attack on one of Italy’s main newspapers prompted the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to briefly turn its focus away from the raging virus crisis and tell Moscow to back off, the report said.
    “While grateful for Russia’s support, one cannot but criticize the inappropriate tone of certain expressions used by the Russian defence ministry spokesman,” the government said in a statement.
    “Freedom of expression and the right to criticise are fundamental values of our country,” it said.
    It noted that Russia had “the right to respond (to the allegations), but in a formal and correct manner.”
    Italians near Milan “met the Russian column of trucks with applause, singing the Russian national anthem,” ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said in Moscow.
    Zakharova accused La Stampa of “distinguishing itself by running a number of defamatory articles about Russian humanitarian aid.”
    Anonymous sources within the Italian government told La Stampa that the Russian delivery contained equipment for bacteriological disinfection and a field laboratory for chemical-biological sterilization — not ventilators and PPE (personal protective equipment), The Daily Mail reported.
    “Of those Russian supplies, 80 percent were completely useless or of little use to Italy. In other words, the delivery was more like a pretext,” one source alleged.
    Dubbed “From Russia With Love,” officials said it is likely that Prime Minister Conte accepted the package in order to secure a good personal relationship with President Putin.

    Italian PM scolds Russians over La Stampa spy spat
     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

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    Misleading Mashup: Russia’s COVID-19 'Aid' to U.S.
    April 02, 2020
    U.S. -- NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 1, 2020: A Russian Aerospace Forces plane carrying medical equipment has landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    U.S. -- NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 1, 2020: A Russian Aerospace Forces plane carrying medical equipment has landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
    Dmitry Peskov


    Dmitry Peskov
    the Kremlin’s Press Secretary
    “’Against the background of the severe epidemiological situation in America, the Russian side offered assistance in the form of medical equipment and protective equipment,’ he [Peskov] said, noting that the U.S. president gratefully accepted this humanitarian assistance.”
    Source: TASS.ru, March 31, 2020
    MISLEADING
    U.S. and Russia diplomatic agencies said the cargo was purchased and not donated
    Speaking at the White House COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, March 30, U.S. President Donald Trump said many foreign countries were sending help for the coronavirus pandemic. He specifically mentioned China and Russia, without specifying whether assistance was purchased or a form of humanitarian aid.
    “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”
    Trump’s announcement created a confusion, first because Russia had yet to send the plane when the U.S. president said it already had arrived. Secondly, Trump’s critics assumed the aid was a gift, providing President Vladimir Putin a propaganda victory.
    Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was the source of the misleading claim that the Russian supplies were of a “humanitarian nature.”
    Peskov said Putin offered to send humanitarian aid to the U.S. during a phone call with Trump on March 30, and that Trump “accepted the offer with gratitude.”
    While “some on the American side” did not support rapid implementation of the presidents’ agreement, the Kremlin expects the spirit of cooperation to be mutual, Peskov added.
    On Wednesday, April 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that Russia’s “largest cargo aircraft” was en route to the U.S. to “help save lives of American citizens.” The tweet used hashtag “RussiaHelps,” further suggesting a humanitarian gesture.


    MFA Russia 🇷🇺

    ✔@mfa_russia

    https://twitter.com/mfa_russia/status/1245237645762052101

    🇷🇺
    🇺🇸
    Following phone talk between Presidents #Putin & @realDonaldTrump #Russia sends largest cargo aircraft An-124 Ruslan
    ✈️
    with
    😷
    medical supplies (masks + equipment) to #US to help fight #COVID19 pandemic, save lives of American citizens.
    🤝
    The plane is en route #RussiaHelps

    Embedded video

    https://twitter.com/intent/like?tweet_id=1245237645762052101
    The Russian diaspora in the U.S. believed the supplies were a gift. The Russian Community Council in the U.S.A. sent a letter of gratitude to the Russian Foreign Ministry, saying: “Numerous representatives of the Russian diaspora living in various parts of the United States are grateful to the residents of Russia and the Russian authorities for sending humanitarian aid, 120 tons of medicines, to the United States.”
    A Russian Air Force An-124 “Ruslan” took off from the Chkalovsk military airbase near Moscow on Wednesday, April 1, at around 4 p.m., Moscow time, and landed at New York’s JFK International Airport at 4 p.m., Eastern Time, that same day.
    The Russian Defense Ministry said the plane was carrying surgical masks and equipment.
    U.S. -- A Russian military transport plane carrying medical equipment, masks and supplies lands at JFK International Airport during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 1, 2020.

    U.S. -- A Russian military transport plane carrying medical equipment, masks and supplies lands at JFK International Airport during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 1, 2020.
    But in a move that unsettled the narrative, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that the U.S. actually bought the supplies from Russia.
    “As a follow-up to the March 30 phone call between President Trump and President Putin, the United States has agreed to purchase needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, from Russia, which were handed over to FEMA on April 1 in New York City,” the State Department said.
    The U.S. did not provide the details of the purchase, including the price and the content of supplies. (FEMA stands for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, which responds to disasters like the pandemic.)
    On April 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the cargo was indeed not entirely humanitarian – and added a new wrinkle.
    Moscow said the Americans paid for some of the supplies, while part of the cost was covered by the Kremlin’s Direct Investment Fund, controlled by Putin.
    Critics have accused the Russians of trying to engineer a propaganda windfall by sending coronavirus supplies to places like the U.S., Italy and China while Russia’s own COVID-19 response is wanting.


    Andrew S. [email protected]

    https://twitter.com/andrewsweiss/status/1245049970459316227

    This is nuts. Kremlin spox Peskov says Trump accepted Putin's offer to send a flight w #coronavirus medical equipment to US. Details willl be handled at the working level. Hopefully someone will tell Trump that he's playing right into a propaganda ploy https://www.interfax.ru/russia/701773
    View image on Twitter
    https://twitter.com/intent/like?tweet_id=1245049970459316227
    In Russia, the Doctor’s Union accused authorities of covering up a coronavirus disaster. As in the U.S., hospitals across the country are reportedly in dire need of protective gear, masks and ventilators, the head of the union said in a video address.
    The Russian authorities have been “waging a crusade” to hide the true COVID-19 predicament under guise of fake news, the Associated Press reported.
    RUSSIA -- A woman watches a live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation over the coronavirus outbreak, in her appartment in Moscow, April 2, 2020

    RUSSIA -- A woman watches a live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation over the coronavirus outbreak, in her appartment in Moscow, April 2, 2020
    In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Garry Kasparov, the exiled Russian world chess champion and Putin critic, compared the Kremlin’s COVID-19 disinformation efforts to the Soviet regime’s cover-up of the Chernobyl disaster.
    “Putin’s coronavirus malpractice isn’t just the latest misery visited upon the Russian people; he also endangers the rest of the world. Remember the lessons of Chernobyl,” Kasparov wrote.
    Russia’s coronavirus aid to hard-hit Italy, dubbed “From Russia with Love,” came under criticism, after the Moscow Times and La Stampa newspapers reported that 80 percent of the supplies were “totally useless.”
    Photos and videos shared on social media showed Russian military convoys riding through Italian towns. Putin’s “publicity coup” left European Union exposed, Reuters reported, noting that it was not just the Russians seeking advantage.


    Olga [email protected]

    https://twitter.com/olgatokariuk/status/1242878401431691266
    Russian military trucks delivering aid to Italy in a massive PR/special operation. They are on their way to Bergamo from airbase near Rome. According la @LaStampa sources in the Italian military, 80% of the items they brought are useless. Pics by Ru journalist A. Yemelyanova
    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
    https://twitter.com/intent/like?tweet_id=1242878401431691266
    Reuters reported: “Alexander Baunov, a senior fellow at the Moscow Carnegie Center, noted China and Cuba were also sending medical aid to Italy. ‘For countries that would like to see the existing world order revised in their favor, the pandemic is an opportunity,’ he said.”

    Misleading Mashup: Russia’s COVID-19 'Aid' to U.S.
     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

    Well-Known Member
    Baudet refers to Russian payments in apps

    Yesterday

    reading time 4 minutes
    Russian connection 5

    FVD leader Thierry Baudet worked closely with a Russian affiliate of the Kremlin in the run-up to the Ukraine referendum. This is evident from research by Zembla and De Nieuws BV. In internal app messages, he also refers to payments from the man, which he describes as "a Russian who works for Putin." According to Baudet, the messages were ironic.
    It concerns the Russian-born Vladimir Kornilov. From 2004 to 2013, he worked as a director of the Institute of CIS countries in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The organization's headquarters are in Moscow. Earlier leaked emails show that the institute regularly reports directly to the Kremlin, including on Ukraine.

    "The aim [of the Institute; ed.] is to advocate for an alliance with Russia and to weaken Western societies and institutions such as NATO and the EU, ”said Michael Carpenter in Zembla, who has worked as director of Russia at the Pentagon and before the National Security Council of the White House. "They use propaganda and sedition."
    Russian working for Putin
    Baudet meets Kornilov in late 2015 for an interview on a Russian site. Then they keep in touch. “I made an appointment with him this afternoon. Is a very influential guy, nice things, I will tell you yet ”, Baudet said on 2 October in an FvD app group.

    Baudet seems to know about Kornilov's Kremlin connections. When people in Forum ask who Kornilov is, he says, "A Russian who works for Putin." In the following months they meet several times, Baudet invites him to speak at the FvD and Baudet translates two pieces from Kornilov into Dutch. They appear on TPO and GeenStijl.

    "I'm working on that Kornilov," says Baudet with a screenshot of the text of the article that later appeared on TPO under the name of Kornilov appears. NRC previously described that article as an example of a direct Russian influence operation. Baudet now acknowledges having translated documents previously converted by Kornilov to English or Dutch using a translation site.

    "What you saw was that every now and then all kinds of people turned up in newspapers and discussion programs that told the pro-association treaty story, the American, the NATO story, so to speak," says Baudet now. "I thought it was very relevant to let the other side do the talking, so I helped get those articles published."
    'Kornilov with all his money'
    Baudet even hints at payments in two texts to then board member Henk Otten. When Baudet says he wants to quit as a paid commentator at Powned in November 2015, he says 'maybe Kornilov wants to pay extra', adding a wink. Later he thanks Otten for moral support: "No Kornilov can beat that with all his money." Where he adds a smiley with sunglasses.

    These apps and messages in which Baudet says to meet with Kornilov with the addition 'we are still going to need the Russians', we should see in the light of irony, according to Baudet, he says in an interview with Zembla. According to him, jokes about Russian influence were made internally. "That was a running gag between us, and I can really explain it hand to heart: we never got paid in any way."

    Baudet says he does not know anything about Kornilov's Kremlin connections, although he does state that he had 'a suspicion'. "To indicate the world of thoughts a little bit ... at that time ... we wondered that about everyone. At one point I spoke to an American, maybe that's a ... probably a CIA agent. "

    Michael Carpenter, who at the time had director access to intelligence in the Pentagon as Russia's director, says the Americans also had FvD in their sights. According to him, Baudet was "a link in a Russian propaganda war", although nothing is known about payments.

    Carpenter states, “We didn't realize then that this was the beginning of a movement we saw in the US elections, the Brexit referendum, the Italian referendum and many other political processes. But this was the first time that we saw clear Russian interference to influence the outcome of a referendum. ”

    In the 2016 annual report, the AIVD writes that Russian agents operated in the Netherlands. "In Russia, the activities of espionage also focus on influencing decision-making processes, imaging and public opinion."
    Zembla and De Nieuws BV received access to app messages from Forum for Democracy from several people. After some hesitation, former FvD board member Henk Otten was also prepared to provide insight into his app traffic with Baudet and to respond to questions from Zembla and De Nieuws BV . He did not see the comments as a joke at the time and warned Baudet several times in Russian about Russian influences. He says he has not seen any payments through the party fund.
    Google Translate
     
    Kizzeb2019

    Kizzeb2019

    Well-Known Member
    The distortion of reality and the defeat of truth: Russia`s celebration of Victory Day

    By Gregor Razumovsky


    The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven`s birth; undoubtedly a reason to celebrate for both music afficionados and Austrian tourism agencies alike. Yet with all due respect to one of mankind greatest composers: the demise of Adolf Hitler`s regime of terror in 1945 will presumably be better remembered by future generations. In memory of the hardships their citizens overcame and the victory they fought for from 1945 until the end, the 16 former member states of the USSR will celebrate the 75th commemoration of the triumph of the Allies on the 9th of May 1945 over the national-socialist dictatorship of the German “Third Reich”.

    Not entirely surprisingly, in an obviously well-orchestrated series of public speeches, President Putin has been trying to highjack the victory over Nazi-Germany and create a new myth. That of Russia being the sole real opponent of Germany, having overcome the “Third Reich” on the eastern front and virtually the whole rest of the world in general.

    According to your author, this act of information war serves primarily domestic purposes. The aim is to strengthen the cohesive forces in the Russian Federation in a situation where overall national economic conditions have rapidly been going from bad to worse to utterly disastrous.

    Mr. Putin`s revamping of his country`s self-image could be interpreted as serving only the cause of rallying his voters in support of his de-facto well prepared coup d`état as it was supposed to be sanctified in April. Apparently, Russia`s President – who seems to be determined to secure himself a life-long Presidential power position - is trying to appropriate all the joint accomplishments of the nations united under the Soviet regime for the purpose of aggrandizing Russia`s historical role.

    The Russian government`s behaviour is suspicious in a more alarming way than the usual nationalist posturing. Mr. Putin has repeatedly demonstrated how little he respects international treaties signed by his predecessors. When Russia`s troops invaded Georgia 2008 it was in clear contravention of the CIS-Treaty of 1992 and when Russia effectively went to war against Ukraine over the Donbas in 2014, it broke not only the OSCE Final Act, the CIS treaty but also deposed with the UN. Mr. Putin`s aims should perhaps be see as a preparation for Russian re-conquista. His often reiterated claim that "Russia is a country of winners" should make of the West aware of the danger of the Kremlin`s interest in further expansion into perceived “Russian lands”. Moscow, so says the credo, is responsible for the safety and well-being of all Russians, no matter where they are. The combination of this assertion in combination with the claim that Ukrainians are an integral part of the Russian nation is somewhat threatening.

    Differing dramatically from what Russia became after the Soviet Union fell apart, was one of the world`s super-powers. The current Russian Federation chose to declare itself the “legal successor” of the USSR, which refers to Russia`s upholding international obligations signed by the Soviet Union.

    Each of the republics of the former USSR paid a high price for the joint vanquishing of the national-socialist ideology of the “Third Reich”. In Ukraine, which also became the main battle-ground in eastern Europe, up to seven million citizens were mobilized for the war-effort, which amounted to a quarter of the military of the Red Army. Ukrainians made up a significant part of the high command of the Red Army, with several hundreds generals and admirals partaking in the war.

    In addition to Russians and Ukrainians, men and women from Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia served in the war against Adolf Hitler.

    Without in any way wishing to lessen the unimaginable sacrifices that were brought by Russian citizens, military and civilian alike, it should still be noted that in Uzbekistan more than 1.4 million people were drafted for the ranks of the Red Army, of which more than 650,000 were killed or disappeared. More than a million people were mobilized in Belarus for the Red Army. Belarus, which had been under German occupation for more than three years, lost about three million inhabitants. In Kazakhstan, more than a million citizens were recruited for the war effort, which amounted to almost a quarter of the total population of the Republic. Of these, half a million perished during the war. Georgia sent more than 700 thousand troops to the Red Army, of which more than a third died. Azerbaijan contributed more than half a million soldiers, of which every second died. Armenia sent more than half million of its citizens, half of which did not survive.

    Mr. Putin`s claim to Russian fame will sound preposterous not only to citizens of the 15 non-Russian states of the Soviet Union, but also to the historically interested western reader. I believe it is safe to assume that not only US citizens will have forgotten about D Day on the 6th of June 1944. Thousands of British, French, US-American soldiers and innumerable others fell in combat against the German Wehrmacht. And perhaps the memory for the billions of US $ spent to supply war material, tanks and guns to the Soviet Union, which was helplessly underequipped and logistically unprepared to fight the German armies will not entirely have been lost.

    From our point of view, Mr. Putin`s declarations may well seem silly at best, but again for this author the question to ask is “why”. Why reinvent history 75 years after it happened. Why now?

    The Soviet Union suffered unimaginable losses, both on a human scale as well as economically through WWII. Nevertheless or possibly exactly for that reason, Stalin, the Soviet “Vozhd” - a term synonymous with titles accorded to other European dictators of the time, such as “il Duce”, “der Führer” or “el Caudillo” – came out strengthened by WWII. The war had united the Soviet people more than his reign of terror ever could. Perhaps the memory of WWII will be strong enough to serve the same or a similar purpose.

    The British weekly magazine The Economist quotes Mr. Sergei Lavrov, Russia`s foreign minister on the development in Libya saying “… we do not approve the statement that Field-Marshal Haftar will now single-handedly decide how the Lybian people should live”. In this, it is remarkable how hard Mr. Lavrov is working to secure his president exactly the same power in Russia.

    In 2020 we do not only celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory Day, but also the 75th of yet another important but rather more ambivalent event: The advent of nuclear threat.

    Some 50 years later, in 1994, three permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Russian Federation and the United States for America - signed a memorandum in Budapest with Ukraine. The remaining members of the Security Council, the Republic of France the People`s Republic of China joined in a few weeks later.

    Object of the memorandum was that Ukraine, at the time armed with an impressive nuclear arsenal, expected its decision to unilaterally scrap all its nuclear weapons to be met with an unequivocal guarantee concerning the inviolability of its borders. In return for this nearly unprecedented act, the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, gave Ukraine the following – as it turned out rather hollow – promises:

    “Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,

    Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

    Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

    Confirm the following:

    1. Member states of UN Security Council …

    reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

    2. (The members of the UN Security Council) …reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

    3. (The members of the UN Security Council) …reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

    (4. and 5. refer to threats of nuclear aggression against Ukraine and are not material to this article)

    6. Ukraine and … (the members of the UN Security Council) … will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

    The memorandum was submitted to the 49th Session of the General Assembly, Security Council, on the 19th of December 1994. Not entirely without irony, the representative who signed the letter on behalf of the Russian Federation was none other than that very same Mr. Sergei Lavrov, at the time a steadfast servant of the Russian ministry of foreign affairs under President Boris Yeltsin.

    All the of the above being said, it should be noted that the OSCE Final Act was first violated by NATO in the alliance`s war against Yugoslavia in 1999, which led to the secession of the Kosovo. We should also not forget that in 1990 the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Kohl gave the unambiguous guarantee to President Mikhail Gorbachev that there would be no enlargement of NATO into eastern central Europe. Indeed, the “Free World” has given the Kremlin and its current master enough justification to mistrust any western government. But let us not confuse “justification” and “reason”.

    Mr. Putin`s behaviour should not be interpreted as an irrational reaction to an imagined threat. Nor is it a sign of alertness, a signal that Russia is prepared to defend itself. In reality, the Russian President is instrumentalising rampant apprehension, misgivings and envy felt in Russia against the “Western World”, to secure his position as ruler of Russia. When the Russian Federation will have its new constitution, the country will have its very own new Vozhd. Perhaps things will work out for the best and Minsk will not become the new Munich. This is to be hoped, even though appeasement policy vis à vis the Kremlin seems to be the discrete consensus between politicians in EU and NATO alike. Sadly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The distortion of reality and the defeat of truth: Russia`s celebration of Victory Day — Unlimited Democracy
     
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