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5 reasons why Ukraine is a bigger threat to peace and safety than North Korea




The Korean Peninsula is often thought of as a volatile region, a dangerous region, an unpredictable ‘weaponised’ region. In particular, the United States has accused North Korea of being a threat to regional peace and stability.

Objectively, there is some truth to all of this, but the Demilitarised Zone separating the two Korean states is far less unstable than the Syria/Iraq border which is currently controlled by ISIS.

But when it comes to threatening regional instability and causing bloodshed, there is one place that is vastly more deadly and volatile than the Korean Peninsula: the battle-zone between Kiev controlled Ukraine and the Donbass Republics.

Despite the fact that the North and South Korea are technically still at war, the region has been remarkably stable and calm since the ceasefire which ended the hot conflict on the peninsula in 1953.

Despite occasional worrying movements on the DMZ (demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas), since 1953, life in North Korea and South Korea has been allowed to develop in such a way that all Koreans live their daily lives in a normal way according to the standards that each unique Korean state has set for its citizens over the decades since the hot period of the Korean War.

For all of its rhetorical bluster, North Korea remains technically committed not a ‘no first strike’ policy in respect of nuclear weapons. Because of this, letting a sleeping dog lie would be good advice for the more hawkish forces in Washington.

READ MORE: The US should accept China’s proposal and talk to North Korea. Here’s why.

Compare this to the Ukraine/Donbass conflict. 

1. Duration and Nature of the Conflicts 

Ukraine, a country which between 1991 and 2014 was united, but with deep political divisions, has split. The Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk were proclaimed after the fascist coup in Kiev and since then, the regular forces, mercenaries and terrorists loyal to Kiev have been invading and attacking the two Donbass Republics, almost without cessation and in total violation of the Minsk II ceasefire agreement, which unlike the successful Korean War ceasefire, was dead on arrival.

The Ukrainian war of aggression against the Donbass Republics which started in February of 2014 and still rages, has all ready gone on for longer than the 3 year and 1 month hot period of Korean War which lasted between June of 1950 and July of 1953, before the ceasefire took effect.

Augmenting this have been attempted terrorist attacks on neighbouring Russia, attacks which were thankfully thwarted by the Russian security services.

READ MORE: Shootout in Crimea: Russia’s FSB vs Ukrainian Saboteurs

By contrast, the last time any North Koreans violated the ceasefire with the South was in 1975 when North Korean soldiers committed an ‘axe murder’ of two American soldiers chopping down a tree in the DMZ.

When all was said and done, America reacted by chopping down the rest of the tree as a ‘show of force’.

2. Chemical Weapons 

Whilst no heavy weapons have been fired from one Korean state to another since 1953, Ukraine is guilty of using illegal chemical weapons on civilian targets in Donbass. The Russian Investigative Committee came to the conclusion that white phosphorus was Kiev’s chemical weapon of choice when attacking Donbass.

READ MORE: When Ukraine dropped chemical weapons on Donbass, the west didn’t care (VIDEO)

3. Deaths

While death has not been a daily feature of Korean life since 1953, the same cannot be said for Donbass. As of December 2016, the UN reports that nearly 10,000 people, including women and children were killed in the Donbass conflict and many suggest the UN figure is low compared to the even grimmer realities on the ground. Many more, including civilians have been killed since then.

Beyond the deaths, torture and rape, including child rape has been a feature of Kiev’s war of aggression. No such analogue exists in the Korean states.

READ MORE: The war in Eastern Ukraine and child rape

4. Political Maturity 

Although both Koreas have a goal of uniting the peninsula under their respective flags and in turn do not acknowledge the political legitimacy of the other state, in reality, both accept the fact that for the foreseeable future they’ll have to live side by side.

Not even the most radical anti-communists in the South plan to storm across the border in a ‘liberation war’ nor will North Korea turn Seoul into a ‘sea of flame’ unless provoked. It’s all bombastic rhetoric and has been since the 1950s.

Just as East and West Germany lived side by side without engaging in war, a similar ‘cold peace’ exists between North and South Korea.

By contrast, Ukraine is totally confused about its own position on the Donbass Republics. On the one hand, they claim that the territory is part of a unitary Ukrainian state, but on the other, they cut off water, electricity and other vital supplies to the Republics. Ukraine has legally removed the rights of Russian speakers throughout the country and has purged Russian from Ukrainian media.

The Kiev regime refuses to allow trains from Donbass into Kiev controlled regions and they do not issue passports and birth certificates in Donbass, which has led Russia to now fully accept legal ID issued in the Donbass Republics as legitimate documents. Ukraine calls the Donbass people terrorists, ‘Russian agents’ and everything else to make them as distant as possible. By contrast, neither Pyongyang and Seoul  challenge the ‘Koreaness’ for those on the other side of the DMZ.

Vladimir Putin said just yesterday, that it isn’t Moscow which somehow lured the Donbass Republics into its realm but rather, Kiev simply cut them off, isolated them, alienated them and pushed them away. One could add historical inevitability to this list. 

READ MORE: Vladimir Putin blasts western hypocrisy while standing next to Angela Merkel

5. The Nuclear Question 

While there are no longer nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory, there are many nuclear power facilities and most are in a state of total disrepair. Ukraine’s nuclear sector is among the least safe in the world. The combination of lack of funds and a disorganised central government has allowed a situation to develop that could result in another Chernobyl style disaster.

The Energy Post describes the Ukrainian nuclear sector as being plagued by “persistent safety problems”.

In an article from 2016, the Energy Post describes how Ukraine’s neighbours live in fear of another nuclear meltdown on Ukrainian territory,

“Ukraine’s neighbours are also concerned. Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria have sent multiple questions for clarification and requests for participation in trans-boundary consultations. But Kiev, in response, denied its obligation to conduct any.

One might think that this experience, or perhaps civil society’s repeated warnings, would make decision makers reconsider this reckless adventure. But not the Ukrainian government”.

While ‘nuclear war’ is a  better headline than ‘nuclear safety concerns’, the fact is that since 1945, the world’s biggest nuclear disasters have been the result of poorly managed nuclear power facilities and not nuclear weapons.

In this sense, Ukraine’s ‘nuclear problem’ is a graver danger to global safety than North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme which thus far has never fired a missile in anger.

Between 2014 and the present day, Ukraine has killed more innocent civilians than either Korean state has even attempted to do since 1953. Ukraine has broken ceasefire agreements on a daily basis while the Korean states have not. Ukraine has deployed chemical weapons on civilians while neither Korean state has done so and unlike the quiet Korean political conflict, Kiev’s war of aggression is going on at this very moment.

Furthermore, Ukraine’s silent nuclear problem is manifestly more worrying than North Korea’s weapons programme.

Objectively, no one could argue that either Korean state is as dangerous or as volatile as post-coup Ukraine.

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What is happening in Donbas is quite simply one of the greatest crimes and atrocities of modern times.
That it is being instigated, encouraged and even perpetrated by the peoples of the world who regard themselves a morally superior and “civilised” should have every one of them deep ashamed of themselves and their countries.

Perhaps one day they will be – but that won’t bring back the murdered or refund them their lost future.


Foreign Banks Are Embracing Russia’s Alternative To SWIFT, Moscow Says

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative.



Via Zerohedge

On Friday, one day after Russia and China pledged to reduce their reliance on the dollar by increasing the amount of bilateral trade conducted in rubles and yuan (a goal toward which much progress has already been made over the past three years), Russia’s Central Bank provided the latest update on Moscow’s alternative to US-dominated international payments network SWIFT.

Moscow started working on the project back in 2014, when international sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea inspired fears that the country’s largest banks would soon be cut off from SWIFT which, though it’s based in Belgium and claims to be politically neutral, is effectively controlled by the US Treasury.

Today, the Russian alternative, known as the System for Transfer of Financial Messages, has attracted a modest amount of support within the Russian business community, with 416 Russian companies having joined as of September, including the Russian Federal Treasury and large state corporations likeGazprom Neft and Rosneft.

And now, eight months after a senior Russian official advised that “our banks are ready to turn off SWIFT,” it appears the system has reached another milestone in its development: It’s ready to take on international partners in the quest to de-dollarize and end the US’s leverage over the international financial system. A Russian official advised that non-residents will begin joining the system “this year,” according to RT.

“Non-residents will start connecting to us this year. People are already turning to us,”said First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Olga Skorobogatova. Earlier, the official said that by using the alternative payment system foreign firms would be able to do business with sanctioned Russian companies.

Turkey, China, India and others are among the countries that might be interested in a SWIFT alternative, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in a speech earlier this month, the US’s willingness to blithely sanction countries from Iran to Venezuela and beyond will eventually rebound on the US economy by undermining the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

To be sure, the Russians aren’t the only ones building a SWIFT alternative to help avoid US sanctions. Russia and China, along with the European Union are launching an interbank payments network known as the Special Purpose Vehicle to help companies pursue “legitimate business with Iran” in defiance of US sanctions.

Given its status as a major energy exporter, Russia has leverage that could help attract partners to its new SWIFT alternative. For one, much of Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas and oil.

And as Russian trade with other US rivals increases, Moscow’s payments network will look increasingly attractive,particularly if buyers of Russian crude have no other alternatives to pay for their goods.

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US leaving INF will put nuclear non-proliferation at risk & may lead to ‘complete chaos’

The US is pulling out of a nuclear missile pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty requires both countries to eliminate their short and medium-range atomic missiles.

The Duran



Via RT

If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

“Now the US Western allies face a choice: either embarking on the same path, possibly leading to new war, or siding with common sense, at least for the sake of their self-preservation instinct.”

His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced his intentions to “terminate” the INF, citing alleged violations of the deal by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly denied undermining the treaty, pointing out that Trump has failed to produce any evidence of violations. Moreover, Russian officials insist that the deployment of US-made Mk 41 ground-based universal launching systems in Europe actually violates the agreement since the launchers are capable of firing mid-range cruise missiles.

Leonid Slutsky, who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament’s lower chamber, argued that Trump’s words are akin to placing “a huge mine under the whole disarmament process on the planet.”

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The deal effectively bans the parties from having and developing short- and mid-range missiles of all types. According to the provisions, the US was obliged to destroy Pershing I and II launcher systems and BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missiles. Moscow, meanwhile, pledged to remove the SS-20 and several other types of missiles from its nuclear arsenal.

Pershing missiles stationed in the US Army arsenal. © Hulton Archive / Getty Images ©

By scrapping the historic accord, Washington is trying to fulfill its “dream of a unipolar world,” a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“This decision fits into the US policy of ditching the international agreements which impose equal obligations on it and its partners, and render the ‘exceptionalism’ concept vulnerable.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov denounced Trump’s threats as “blackmail” and said that Washington wants to dismantle the INF because it views the deal as a “problem” on its course for “total domination” in the military sphere.

The issue of nuclear arms treaties is too vital for national and global security to rush into hastily-made “emotional” decisions, the official explained. Russia is expecting to hear more on the US’ plans from Trump’s top security adviser, John Bolton, who is set to hold talks in Moscow tomorrow.

President Trump has been open about unilaterally pulling the US out of various international agreements if he deems them to be damaging to national interests. Earlier this year, Washington withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. All other signatories to the landmark agreement, including Russia, China, and the EU, decided to stick to the deal, while blasting Trump for leaving.

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Kiev ‘Patriarch’ prepares to seize Moscow properties in Ukraine

Although Constantinople besought the Kiev church to stop property seizures, they were ignored and used, or perhaps, complicit.

Seraphim Hanisch



The attack on the Eastern Orthodox Church, brought about by the US State Department and its proxies in Constantinople and Ukraine, is continuing. On October 20, 2018, the illegitimate “Kyiv (Kiev) Patriarchate”, led by Filaret Denisenko who is calling himself “Patriarch Filaret”, had a synodal meeting in which it changed the commemoration title of the leader of the church to include the Kyiv Caves and Pochaev Lavras.

This is a problem because Metropolitan Onuphry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is canonically accepted and acts as a very autonomous church under the Moscow Patriarchate has these places under his pastoral care.

This move takes place only one week after Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople unilaterally (and illegally) lifted the excommunications, depositions (removal from priestly ranks as punishment) and anathemas against Filaret and Makary that were imposed on them by the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate.

These two censures are very serious matters in the Orthodox Church. Excommunication means that the person or church so considered cannot receive Holy Communion or any of the other Mysteries (called Sacraments in the West) in a neighboring local Orthodox Church. Anathema is even more serious, for this happens when a cleric disregards his excommunication and deposition (removal from the priesthood), and acts as a priest or a bishop anyway.

Filaret Denisenko received all these censures in 1992, and Patriarch Bartholomew accepted this decision at the time, as stated in a letter he sent to Moscow shortly after the censures. However, three years later, Patriarch Bartholomew received a group of Ukrainian autocephalist bishops called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, who had been in communion with Filaret’s group. While this move may have been motivated by the factor of Bartholomew’s almost total isolation within Istanbul, Turkey, it is nonetheless non-canonical.

This year’s moves have far exceeded previous ones, though, and now the possibility for a real clash that could cost lives is raised. With Filaret’s “church” – really an agglomeration of Ukrainian ultranationalists and Neo-Nazis in the mix, plus millions of no doubt innocent Ukrainian faithful who are deluded about the problems of their church, challenging an existing arrangement regarding Ukraine and Russia’s two most holy sites, the results are not likely to be good at all.

Here is the report about today’s developments, reprinted in part from

Meeting today in Kiev, the Synod of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) has officially changed the title of its primate, “Patriarch” Philaret, to include the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras under his jurisdiction.

The primate’s new official title, as given on the site of the KP, is “His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev—Mother of the cities of Rus’, and Galicia, Patriarch of All Rus’-Ukraine, Svyaschenno-Archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras.”

…Thus, the KP Synod is declaring that “Patriarch” Philaret has jurisdiction over the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, although they are canonically under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Philaret and his followers and nationalistic radicals have continually proclaimed that they will take the Lavras for themselves.

This claim to the ancient and venerable monasteries comes after the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it had removed the anathema placed upon Philaret by the Russian Orthodox Church and had restored him to his hierarchical office. Philaret was a metropolitan of the canonical Church, becoming patriarch in his schismatic organization.

Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have clarified that they consider Philaret to be the “former Metropolitan of Kiev,” but he and his organization continue to consider him an active patriarch, with jurisdiction in Ukraine.

Constantinople’s statement also appealed to all in Ukraine to “avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties,” which the Synod of the KP ignored in today’s decision.

The KP primate’s abbreviated title will be, “His Holiness (name), Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine,” and the acceptable form for relations with other Local Churches is “His Beatitude Archbishop (name), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine.”

The Russian Orthodox Church broke eucharistic communion and all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over this matter earlier this week. Of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches recognized the world over, twelve have expressed the viewpoint that Constantinople’s move was in violation of the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church. Only one local Church supported Constantinople wholeheartedly, and all jurisdictions except Constantinople have appealed for an interOrthodox Synod to address and solve the Ukrainian matter in a legitimate manner.

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