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German legislators came, saw, and slammed Russia sanctions on trip to Crimea

Crimea is and was always Russian, as a its history amply demonstrates




Come and see the beauty of Crimea by the sea. In order to truly understand Crimea, you have to visit this beautiful, magical place. Do so, and your perspective on it, and the world may completely change. You may also fall in love.

If more policymakers would just visit this land which they issue sanctions over, and truly understand the wonder and history Crimea offers the world, they make change their perspective. That is what happened when the German delegation visited.

German lawmaker opposes anti-Russian sanctions, urges Ukraine to accept Crimean people’s choice

These were the words of Helmut Seifen, a German MP from North Rhine-Westphalia after his Crimea visit:

 I think that the sanctions introduced after Crimea held its referendum and was reunited with Russia are counterproductive. This is a way of escalation.Some political forces must come to power in Ukraine that would accept the will of the Crimean people. This would bring peace between the nations and ordinary people could resume their travels from Ukraine to Crimea and back. All ties would be restored,” added the German politician.

This is something alternative media has been covering for ages now, and something that top US professors have already explained – Crimea is Russia. Sanctioning Russian lands for joining Russia is insanity. The sooner people understand that, the sooner they stop risking a dangerous conflict with catastrophic consequences for the whole world.

The fact that Crimea is Russia is not a matter of opinion, it is a simple historical fact, and no one upon truly studying the history and culture in depth would disagree, unless they are a radical anti-Russian nationalist. In order to truly appreciate the German MP’s revelation, we must take a walk through the annuals of Crimean history.

The Glorious and Tragic History of Crimea – the same could be said of many Slavic lands:

Crimea is one of the most important parts of Rus’, yet it began it’s story with the Greeks. Indeed, would you believe the site of the Baptism of the first Rus Prince was NOT a part of Kievan Rus’? How is this possible? Let’s find out…

Kievan Rus’ was the first Russian state, which all scholars agree was the ancestor of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

If one looks carefully, they will notice the Crimean peninsula was not a part of Kievan Rus, but was, in fact, a Greek colony – a territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. There are 9th-century Greek monasteries on the peninsula to prove it.

Bear in mind, this is not the time or place for a detailed history of Crimea, of which pages could be written, but the simply account goes that Crimea, the site of the Baptism of Saint Vladimir of Kiev, in preparation for his marriage to a Byzantine Princess, would eventually fall to Mongol hordes like the rest of Rus’. This means Crimea is not part of what Ukrainians misleadingly refer to as “Ancient Ukraine”, as they call Kievan Rus. This is misleading, as while Ukrainian people have an equal claim to the land with Russians and Belarussians, there was no such term as Ukraine in the period, and the state was called Rus’, from which Russia takes her name, and the three peoples were indistinguishable in that time.

Mongol Invasion (light grey) around 1250 A.D.

After the Mongol Empire fractures into the Golden Horde, Crimea eventually is ruled by a splinter group called the Crimean Khanate, who were vassals of the Ottoman empire. The khanate was the source of endless suffering for Rus’ people, often abducting slaves from Ruthenia (modern day Ukraine), and Polish-Lithuanian territories, and selling them to the Ottoman Turks. This was how Suliman the Magnificent received his wife, Roxalana, a Ukrainian girl abducted by the Crimean Tatars.

Image result for Роксолана

The Cossacks of Zaporozhia would be forced to ally with the Tatars against the Poles, in the interest of national liberation, but the moment Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky was able to negotiate the reunification of Ukraine with Russia, his Cossacks quickly ignored the Tatars, whom they only saw as an ally of convenience, and never forgot their cruelty.

A map showing Cossack-Russian, Polish, and Crimean Khanate (light purple) lands

Eventually, after freeing the nation from Polish rule with Russia’s help, the Cossacks would in turn help Russia settle the “Wild Fields” of Southern Ukraine and Russia, including the Kuban where they still dwell today. In this process, it led to the settlement of New Russia (Novorossia).

It was called “New” as the land had little to do with Ancient Rus’, and all the great cities of Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson, etc. were built in the late 18th century by the modern Russian empire, as opposed to being cities built during the shared period of Rus’. The map below clearly show how Cossacks helped Russia settle these new lands, and reveal the historical evolution of the land now called Ukraine.

These lands include Crimea, and oh how history repeats itself, because the conflict in Novorossia is, of course, still raging today. It is in understanding this history, we realize why sanctions against Russia over Crimea is pointless, and Crimea is Russia. The fact that all these lands were settled in the early modern period by the Russian Empire connects them even more with Russia, than other ancient Russian cities like Lviv, which were founded in the common medieval period, and existed seperate from Russia for several centuries. Crimea simply would not be settled by Slavs in general, were it not for the Russian Empire. In 1954, the peninsula was unceremoniously gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader of Ukrainian descent.

Note: the “Polish territory” was ancient Rus’ territory long before Poland invaded and took it

This is where partial knowledge of history fails some people, as, without the whole story, some may concede and admit that Crimea is Russia, because it was given in 1954, but insist that Donbas and Kiev are distinctively Ukrainian. That is still not quite accurate. The issue here is that all of Ukraine was once Russia a mere less than 50 years prior. The land was only divided as the result of the Bolshevik revolution and WW1, and then artificially constructed, but by then, the seeds of nationalism took root. The difference between Ukraine and Russia is like East and West Germany, when they were two separate states. If the people wish to remain in separate states, this is a political opinion, and everyone has the right to their own opinion, but no one can deny the historical unity between them.

It was this unity that German lawmakers noticed when they went to Crimea. We have already covered the German expedition to Crimea in detail here:

German politicians visit Crimea, Ukraine throws tantrum as expected

According to RT, Kiev has already initiated legal proceedings against the German lawmakers, after threatening them that their trip could have lamentable consequences, as we noted in the article above.

It is perhaps the words of the Deputy Speaker of Crimean legislative assembly, Yuri Gempel, which perfectly sum everything up:

Europe is waking up slowly and starting to understand that Crimea has returned to Russia forever.

Any discussion of Crimea or Ukraine must be made with the understanding that this is a permanent reunion, just as the reunification of Ukraine and Russia in 1654 was meant to be, until it was sabotaged by foreign powers who manipulated petty nationalism amongst the people, and used the Bolsheviks as a tool to divide old Russia.

There is a monument to that reunion here, in our photo essay about the haunting beauty of Chernobyl which we highly recommend.

It must be understood that Crimeans did not abandon any part of themselves when they returned. Those who wish to be Ukrainian are no less Ukrainian, as Ukrainian culture is as much an inseparable part of Russia as Gogol, and just as much as Russian culture and history is inseparable from Ukraine. No matter how far across the vast steppes of time Ukrainians roam – Russia is their home.

Ой ви хлопці, славні Запорожці, Верніться до дому! (the words of an old song, urging Cossacks to return home)

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch



One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:

To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.





Via RT…

If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.




Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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