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Who is celebrating the assassination of the USSR?

The traitors behind the collapse of the USSR met at an Atlantic Council event in Washington D.C., and it was a sad spectacle to watch.

Andrey Fomin

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Submitted by the author, previously published by the Oriental Review.

Last Friday the Atlantic Council hosted a curious panel in Washington, DC, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR: three shabby men who personally participated in a notorious, clandestine meeting in the Belavezha forest in Belarus on Dec 8, 1991 were seated on a stage in the capital of the principal beneficiary of that coup d’état – Boris Yeltsin’s then-Secretary of State Gennady Burbulis; the “founding president” of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk; and the chairman of the Belarusian parliament, Stanislav Shushkevich.

They were such a sad spectacle that it is much more interesting to look back at the history of their conspiracy at Viskuli, a hunting lodge for Soviet nomenklatura in Belarus 8 km off the Polish border, and the resulting direct consequences.

The document they drafted overnight and then signed was titled the Agreement on the Foundation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which declared that the Soviet Union was to be dissolved and a new, non-supranational CIS association established.

The meeting took place only one week after the Ukraine held its first presidential elections (won by Leonid Kravchuk, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Ukraine, with 61.6% of the vote) as well as a referendum on independence (reportedly attracting a voter turnout of 84.2%, 90.3% of whom voted in favor).

The Belavezha Accords, which were publicly announced the next morning, were a rude awakening for the majority of the country, despite an ongoing serious crisis in the nation that had been caused by six years of  Mikhail Gorbachev’s short-sighted policies (although he deserved praise for his efforts to relieve international tensions and reduce the threat of a nuclear conflict between the superpowers, these achievements were strongly outweighed by his administration’s catastrophic bungling on the domestic front).

Nevertheless, within days the Accords had been ratified by the Supreme Soviets (the highest legislative bodies) of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, without any evident public discussion and in violation of the current constitution of the RSFSR, which required a convention of the Congress of People’s Deputies in order to resolve any questions related to the system of governance.

This hasty, reckless ratification can be blamed on the criminal weakness of the Soviet leadership, the total loss of public confidence in the policy of perestroika, the growing resurgence of nationalistic and new bourgeois sentiments in some key influential groups within Soviet society, and, of course, the general public’s idealistic naiveté about the realities of what lay ahead.

Every corner of that suffering country was soon confronted by the historical fallout from the intellectual sloth, complacency, and indolence of both the Soviet elites as well as the masses.

The plummeting incomes, draconian privatization schemes that cherry-picked the most profitable Soviet industries, and the avalanche of criminal, separatist, extremist, and sectarian exploits that victimized almost every citizen of what had been until very recently a welfare state, in addition to the fate of the millions of Russians who went to bed one night in their own country only to wake up the next morning as residents of various hostile foreign nations – all these calamities forced Vladimir Putin, expressing the popular sentiments of the day, to call the breakup of the USSR “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.

Unsurprisingly, after only a few months the protagonists of the Belavezha Accords were roundly condemned by the public as well as the growing opposition in the newly independent states.

In July 1994 Stanislav Shushkevich ran in Belarus’s first presidential election, but had to abandon his campaign after the initial round of balloting, having received only 10% of the vote. A physics professor for more than 40 years, he later tried to head the insignificant social democratic Gromada party, but failed to win any seats in any Belarusian legislature.  He resigned and emigrated to Poland, where he currently earns his 30 shekels lecturing on politics.

Leonid Kravchuk was forced to call early presidential elections in June 1994 when faced with a severe economic crisis and widespread strikes by coal miners in the Donbass that had begun in mid-1993. He lost the elections in the second round to the “father of the Ukrainian oligarchy,” Leonid Kuchma, and took a seat in the Verkhovna Rada for the next 12 years until his Social Democratic Party failed to win the qualifying threshold of 3%. His biggest achievement since then has been his appearance on a series of commemorative postage stamps in honor of his 80th birthday in 2014.

Boris Yeltsin, the luckiest among the trio, departed this life peacefully in his bed in April 2007. A powerful, charismatic personality, he never lost an election, but – deeply remorseful about his role in the breakup of the USSR and consequent public unpopularity – during his last months in office he was evidently committed to finding an able successor to replace him in the Kremlin. On December 31, 1999 he announced his resignation, asked for public forgiveness, and presented the young PM Vladimir Putin as the front-runner for the Russian presidency in 2000…

Yeltsin’s closest aide in 1991, Gennady Burbulis, a half-Lithuanian born in the Urals, was a lecturer in Marxist dialectical materialism at the Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk (now known as Yekaterinburg). Beginning in 1989 he, along with Boris Yeltsin, represented that city in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. According to many sources, Burbulis provided the principle intellectual foundation and motivation for Yeltsin’s battle for power and subsequent authorization of Yegor Gaidar’s ultra-liberal team to carry out the genocidal “reforms” in Russia.

The collapse of that unpopular government and Gaidar’s resignation in December 1992 irrevocably undermined Burbulis’s influence on Yeltsin. He held several non-public sinecures in Russia until 2010 and eventually established a school of politosophy (his own neologism) in Moscow, which offers courses in vague, indeterminate subjects. He currently gives the impression of being a bit unhinged and in general plays the role of the village idiot. His odd speech and grimacing mannerisms recently on evidence in Washington should be of more professional interest to American psychiatrists than politicians.

So these are the political dwarves invited by the Atlantic Council to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the deal struck in Belavezha, the apogee of US triumphs in Soviet affairs. They are as meaningless today as the negligible results of the quarter-century of globalist aspirations to subjugate Russia’s natural resources and human spirit.

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BREXIT chaos, as May’s cabinet crumbles (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 18.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the various scenarios now facing a crumbling May government, as the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is forcing cabinet members to resign in rapid succession. The weekend ahead is fraught with uncertainty for the UK and its position within, or outside, the European Union.

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If Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is eventually rejected this could trigger a vote of no confidence, snap elections or even a new referendum…

Here are six possible scenarios facing Theresa May and the UK (via The Guardian)

1 Parliament blocks Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement and political declarations

May faces an enormous task to win parliamentary approval, given that Labour, the SNP, the DUP and 51 Tories have said they will not vote for it.

If the remaining 27 EU member states sign off the draft agreement on 25 November, the government will have to win over MPs at a crucial vote in early December.

If May loses the vote, she has 21 days to put forward a new plan. If she wins, she is safe for now.

2 May withdraws the current draft agreement

The prime minister could decide that she will not get the draft agreement through parliament and could seek to renegotiate with the EU.

This would anger Tory backbenchers and Brussels and would be seen as a humiliation for her government. It might spark a leadership contest too.

3 Extend article 50

May could ask the European council to extend article 50, giving her more time to come up with a deal that could be passed by parliament – at present, the UK will leave on 29 March 2019.

Such a request would not necessarily be granted. Some EU governments are under pressure from populist parties to get the UK out of the EU as soon as possible.

4 Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister

If Conservative MPs believe May is no longer fit for office, they could trigger a no-confidence vote.

Members of the European Research Group claim that Graham Brady, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee, will receive the necessary 48 letters this week.

A vote could be held as soon as early next week. All Tory MPs would be asked to vote for or against their leader. If May wins, she cannot be challenged for at least 12 months. If she loses, there would be a leadership contest to decide who will become prime minister.

5 General election – three possible routes

If May fails to get support for the current deal, she could call a snap general election.

She would table a parliamentary vote for a general election that would have to be passed by two thirds of MPs. She would then set an election date, which could be by the end of January.

This is an unlikely option. May’s political credibility was severely damaged when she called a snap election in 2017, leading to the loss of the Conservative party’s majority.

Alternatively, a general election could be called if a simple majority of MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government. Seven Tory MPs, or all of the DUP MPs, would have to turn against the government for it to lose the vote, triggering a two-week cooling-off period. May would remain in office while MPs negotiate a new government.

Another route to a general election would be for the government to repeal or amend the Fixed-term Parliaments Act which creates a five-year period between general elections. A new act would have to be passed through both the Commons and the Lords – an unlikely scenario.

6 Second referendum

May could decide it is impossible to find a possible draft deal that will be approved by parliament and go for a people’s vote.

The meaningful vote could be amended to allow MPs to vote on whether the country holds a second referendum. It is unclear whether enough MPs would back a second referendum and May has ruled it out.

 

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement may lead to Theresa May’s downfall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been published and as many predicted, including Nigel Farage, the document is leading to the collapse of Theresa May’s government.

During an interview with iTV’s Piers Morgan, remain’s Alistair Campell and leave’s Nigel Farage, were calling May’s Brexit deal a complete disaster.

Via iTV

Alastair Campbell: “This doesn’t do remotely what was offered…what is the point”

“Parliament is at an impasse”

“We have to go back to the people” …”remain has to be on the ballot paper”

Nigel Farage:

“This is the worst deal in history. We are giving away in excess of 40B pounds in return for precisely nothing. Trapped still inside the European Union’s rulebook.

“Nothing has been achieved.”

“In any negotiation in life…the other side need to know that you are serious about walking away.”

“What monsieur Barnier knew from day one, is that at no point did Theresa May intend to walk away.”

“Fundamental matter of trust to the electors of our country and those who govern us.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, and why the deal is a full on victory for the European Union and a document of subjugation for the United Kingdom.

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Coming in at 585 pages, the draft agreement will be closely scrutinized over the coming days but here are some of the highlights as outlined by Zerohedge

  • UK and EU to use the best endeavours to supersede Ireland protocol by 2020
  • UK can request extension of the transition period any time before July 1st, 2020
  • EU, UK See Level-Playing Field Measures in Future Relationship
  • Transition period may be extended once up to date yet to be specified in the text
  • EU and UK shall establish single customs territory and Northern Ireland is in same customs territory as Great Britain

The future relationship document is less than seven pages long. It says the U.K. and EU are seeking a free-trade area with cooperation on customs and rules: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free trade area combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.”

The wording might raise concerns among Brexiters who don’t want regulatory cooperation and the measures on fair competition could amount to shackling the U.K. to EU rules.

As Bloomberg’s Emma Ross-Thomas writes, “There’s a clear sense in the documents that we’re heading for a customs union in all but name. Firstly via the Irish backstop, and then via the future relationship.”

Separately, a government summary of the draft agreement suggests role for parliament in deciding whether to extend the transition or to move in to the backstop.

But perhaps most importantly, regarding the controversial issue of the Irish border, the future relationship document says both sides aim to replace the so-called backstop – the thorniest issue in the negotiations – with a “subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

On this topic, recall that the U.K.’s fear was of being locked into the backstop arrangement indefinitely in the absence of a broader trade deal. The draft agreement includes a review process to try to give reassurance that the backstop would never be needed. Basically, the U.K. could choose to seek an extension to the transition period – where rules stay the same as they are currently – or opt to trigger the backstop conditions. In fact, as Bloomberg notes, the word “backstop,” which has been a sticking point over the Irish border for weeks, is mentioned only once in the text.

As Bloomberg further adds, the withdrawal agreement makes clear that the U.K. will remain in a single customs area with the EU until there’s a solution reached on the Irish border. It’s what Brexiteers hate, because it makes it more difficult for the U.K. to sign its own free-trade deals, which they regard as a key prize of Brexit.

Predictably, EU Commission President Juncker said decisive progress has been made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, as analysts comb over the documents, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, has already written to Conservative lawmakers urging them to vote against the deal. He says:

  • May is handing over money for “little or nothing in return”
  • The agreement treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the U.K.
  • It will “lock” the U.K. into a customs union with the EU
  • It breaks the Tory election manifesto of 2017

The full document…

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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