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Who divided Germany during the Cold War – Washington or Moscow?

The Soviet proposal for a neutral, united Germany was refused by the West, in order to create their own puppet state

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(Oriental Review) – I think some of you may have heard on more than one occasion about how that bloodthirsty tyrant Stalin set up a blockade of West Berlin in 1948 and how the freedom-loving nations organized the Berlin airlift to circumvent it. But today we’ll let you in on what really happened.

After Stalin refused to get sucked into the draconian Bretton Woods Agreement and then Churchill gave his famous speech in Fulton, MO, the West began squeezing the USSR on all available fronts. The most convenient site for this was the vanquished country of Germany.

Germany Zones of Occupation 1946
Germany Zones of Occupation 1946

Immediately after defeating the Nazis, the Allies agreed to split Germany into three occupation zones: Russian, British, and American. But the country itself was in no way divided by borders – this was united Germany but without any semblance of state power within its own borders other than the military authorities of the occupation. Berlin was sliced up in a similar way. The city had been stormed by Soviet troops, but as agreed, the USSR allowed the Allied forces to enter the German capital. On June 5, 1945, the Berlin Declaration was adopted, which announced the assumption of supreme authority in Germany by all the powers that had conquered the Nazis. Later, at the insistence of Charles de Gaulle, the French also lopped off their own chunk of German territory – they were given the Saar region to occupy and were also allocated a sector of Berlin. There were now four occupation zones. Then, on Aug. 30, 1945, a governing body was established – the Control Council – through which the Allies could work together and that held supreme power in that occupied country. On Jan. 1, 1946, trade began between the Soviet and British zones. For a while everything went smoothly – due to the fact that the USSR had not yet refused to recognize the supremacy of the Federal Reserve’s dollar …However, once that Rubicon had been crossed, things started to heat up.

March 5, 1946 – the date of Churchill’s speech and the beginning of hostile overtures from the West.

Aug. 6, 1946 – American General Lucius Clay makes an announcement in Stuttgart about the impending unification of two zones of occupation.

Dec. 2, 1946, the US and Great Britain sign an agreement in New York to merge their zones of occupation. An entity with the odd name of Bizone emerges on the map of Europe.

Jan. 1, 1947 – all trade between the Bizone and the other zones is now to be conducted in the dollars of the Federal Reserve. And what currency had been used to trade with the Soviet zone throughout all of 1946? Reichmarks. The USSR has no dollars and the Germans have even less access to them. What is the reason for demanding that trade be conducted only in dollars? It means that the choice is either to submit or to cease all trade between the two halves of Germany.

March 12, 1947 – President Truman delivers his Truman Doctrine speech before Congress and the Cold War officially begins.

June 5, 1947 – the famous Marshall Plan is adopted.

Feb. 23 – March 6, 1948 – the London Six-Power Conference is held, attended by the US, UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, at which a separate decision is made to create a German state within the confines of the three occupation zones.

Thus, the US and UK undertook to split Germany into two states. In response, the USSR withdrew from the Control Council on March 20, 1948 and it immediately ceased its work. The West no longer needed a governing body to oversee all of Germany. They were forging a new German state.

But then something quite interesting happened. Between June 20 and 21, 1948, a monetary reform was carried out in the three Western occupation zones that looked quite a lot like highway robbery. The Reichsmark that Hitler had used was replaced by the Deutschmark. Each German was permitted to exchange 60 Reichsmarks at a rate of 1:1. Forty marks could be exchanged immediately, and another 20 two months later. Half of their savings could be exchanged at a rate of 1:10, while the second half was frozen until a later date when it could be exchanged at 1:20. But pensions, salaries, payments, and taxes were recalculated in the new currency at a 1:1 rate.

Allied West Germany Deutsche Mark (1948)
Allied West Germany Deutsche Mark (1948)

Legal entities faced an even sadder fate. All businesses were allocated 60 marks for each employee. All government debt that was owed in the old Reichsmarks was zeroed out without any compensation! As result, approximately 2/3 of bank assets, which had been invested in government bonds, were now worthless. And all this happened in one fell swoop – like a well-planned military operation. German marks were secretly printed in the US and put into circulation without warning.

Now let’s consider this situation for a moment. What do you think happened in a country where a new currency was introduced in one half, while the old currency continued to be used in the other half? The Germans had been offered the opportunity to exchange their savings at a rate of 1:10 or 1:20, so what would be the logical next step for them to take? They tried to spend their old marks anywhere that that money was still being accepted. In other words – in the Soviet zone of occupation. And that’s exactly what happened. The Germans rushed to transform their old Reichmarks into goods in the “eastern” zone. They vacuumed up everything on the store shelves, focusing only on getting rid of their money. In light of this outrageous situation, what was the Soviet administration supposed to do? They had to seal up the borders of their zone and try to stem this flood of money, otherwise the economy would collapse – no goods would be left in the stores at all. And this was precisely what the West was counting on: inciting a riot and then provoking the USSR into a “bloody crackdown on popular protests.”

Berlin 1948

The borders of the occupation zone could be sealed of course, but what to do about Berlin? There was as yet no wall there – the city was still undivided. And “as luck would have it,” the monetary reform was scheduled to take effect in the western sector of Berlin three days later than in the Bizone and the French occupation zone – on June 25, 1948. It was as if someone wanted the Germans to take the hint – take your Reichsmarks to Berlin! They still accept them there. And cars from all over Germany would now be filled with cash and driven straight to the German capital. But luckily the Allies and the Germans working for them had to have a special pass to travel to Berlin via the Soviet zone. What to do? The Soviet government decided to ban entry to Berlin as well as passage to Berlin through the Soviet zone. And residents of the western sector of the city were barred from going into eastern Berlin just to vacuum up everything on the store shelves. This was the “blockade” of West Berlin that Stalin proclaimed.

The East German mark would be introduced much later.

On July 1, 1948, the military governors of the three occupation zones presented what are known as the Frankfurt documents to the minister-presidents of the eleven German states that lay within their jurisdiction. The decision was made in London to effectively order the Germans to create a new national government! The overseas capitals were not concerned that this would divide both the country as well as its people.

The future West Germany would occupy 52.7% of pre-war German territory and accommodate 62% of its population.

And after that, events rolled merrily along, keeping to the familiar script.

On May 23, 1949, the birth of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was announced. The degree of independence granted to this puppet state’s foreign policy is clear from the fact that West Germany’s Federal Foreign Office did not even exist until March 15, 1951, and the governments of the US and UK did not proclaim the restoration of West Germany’s full sovereignty in foreign affairs for yet another three years (June 24, 1954).

Meanwhile the USSR was doing all it could to oppose the West’s plans to create a German state in only one part of Germany, leaving the question of the future state structure and neutrality of the Germans undecided.

Moscow responded to the establishment of West Germany by proclaiming the formation of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) on Oct. 7, 1949. However, Stalin thought it wrong to have two Germanys right in the heart of Europe. Therefore, on March 10, 1952, the USSR sent a proposal to the West, which history would later dub the “Stalin Note.” This document provides clear evidence that the Soviet leader’s goal was not to create his “own” German state, but to unify Germany in order to prevent Washington and London from using the Germans as pawns in their own policy.

German Democratic Republic map
German Democratic Republic map

The Soviet Union wanted to hold immediate negotiations about the reunification of Germany and free elections throughout its territory, with the subsequent formation of a single government that should retain a neutral status. Need I remind anyone that the “Stalin Note” was ignored by the West? When someone who is naive or uneducated begins to hold forth about who is to blame for the decades-long division of the German people, just remind him of this fact. The West blocked the negotiations between the two “Germanys.” And West Germany did not recognize East Germany until 1972. Prior to that the two German states did not recognize each other and did not have diplomatic ties.

If you ask a modern person who gets his information from the “independent” media about the difference between West and East Germany, you will most likely hear something about “totalitarianism.” Supposedly one Germany was free in a way that the other Germany was not. If you press him for a more specific answer, then you will most likely hear that there was no multiparty system in East Germany, which was ruled solely by the Communist Party, while West Germany was home to many political parties. Well, this is a complete … lie. By June 10, 1945 the Soviet military administration in Germany had already authorized the activities of the democratic parties and trade unions in its zone. And it did so before our “Allies” took similar actions in their occupation zones. Four parties were created in June and July 1945, and in 1946 two of them merged to create the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which later became the ruling party. I think many readers will find it interesting to learn that a multiparty system existed there until the very last days of the German Democratic Republic. The very first East German parliament – the provisional People’s Chamber – had 330 deputies in 1949: the SED held 96 seats, the Liberal Democrats and CDU won 46 seats each, the National Democrats – 17, and the Democratic Farmers’ Party – 15. The remaining seats were divided between trade unions and the Free German Youth. And if anyone thought that this was nothing but window dressing and that the “bloodthirsty regime” later strangled the multiparty system, then that person would be flat-out wrong. If you try to claim that the East German parliament was a mere façade, then you must admit that every other parliament in the world is equally deserving of this label. The truth is this: socialist Germany and its multiparty system continued to develop in unison. By 1986, the 500 deputies in the People’s Chamber included ten factions from five parties, trade unions, the Komsomol, the Democratic Women’s Federation of Germany, the Cultural Association of the DDR, and even the Peasants Mutual Aid Association.

Volkskammer 1990
The People’s Chamber of the German Democratic Republic

The biggest media outlets in the world today often air clichés about the “aggressive Warsaw Pact.” This is another patently obvious lie. The West created NATO in 1949 and the USSR founded the Warsaw Treaty Organization in 1955. And that military bloc emerged in response to the militarization of Europe by the West. The USSR did not react to the creation of NATO until West Germany became a member of that bloc. In a special statement on Jan. 15, 1955, the Soviet Union declared that negotiations between the two German states on the subject of neutrality would become meaningless if one of them joined a Western military bloc. But the United States and Britain deliberately created a military threat in Europe. They needed an unnatural situation in which a divided people had two governments and must be equipped with two armies facing off against one another. London and Washington have been only too happy to replicate this situation again and again: in India and Pakistan, Cyprus and Northern Cyprus, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Croatia and Serbia, and in Russia and Ukraine …

And so West Germany became a member of NATO on May 9, 1955. In response, the Warsaw Pact military bloc was created on May 14, 1955. Even the famous East German army – one of the finest in the world throughout the 34 years of its existence – was established only after the “Allies” shamelessly violated the decision made at the Potsdam Conference in 1945 that prohibited Germany from maintaining its own armed forces. Bonn officially announced the formation of the Bundeswehr on Nov. 12, 1955, but it was not until 1956 that the National People’s Army of the DDR was established …

So who initiated irreconcilable confrontation right in the heart of Europe after the WWII and 40-year division of the German people?

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Is the Violent Dismemberment of Russia Official US Policy?

Neocons make the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

The Duran

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Authored by Erik D’Amato via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity:


If there’s one thing everyone in today’s Washington can agree on, it’s that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Because so much of the discussion around US-Russian affairs is marked by hysteria and hyperbole, you are forgiven for assuming this is an exaggeration. Unfortunately it isn’t. Published in the Hill under the dispassionate title “Managing Russia’s dissolution,” author Janusz Bugajski makes the case that the West should not only seek to contain “Moscow’s imperial ambitions” but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have simply reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed, one that nourishes Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences of its dissolution.

Like many contemporary cold warriors, Bugajski toggles back and forth between overhyping Russia’s might and its weaknesses, notably a lack of economic dynamism and a rise in ethnic and regional fragmentation.But his primary argument is unambiguous: That the West should actively stoke longstanding regional and ethnic tensions with the ultimate aim of a dissolution of the Russian Federation, which Bugajski dismisses as an “imperial construct.”

The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable…

To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia’s diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

Even more alarming is Bugajski’s argument that the goal should not be self-determination for breakaway Russian territories, but the annexing of these lands to other countries. “Some regions could join countries such as Finland, Ukraine, China and Japan, from whom Moscow has forcefully appropriated territories in the past.”

It is, needless to say, impossible to imagine anything like this happening without sparking a series of conflicts that could mirror the Yugoslav Wars. Except in this version the US would directly culpable in the ignition of the hostilities, and in range of 6,800 Serbian nuclear warheads.

So who is Janusz Bugajski, and who is he speaking for?

The author bio on the Hill’s piece identifies him as a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. But CEPA is no ordinary talk shop: Instead of the usual foundations and well-heeled individuals, its financial backers seem to be mostly arms of the US government, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the US Mission to NATO, the US-government-sponsored National Endowment for Democracy, as well as as veritable who’s who of defense contractors, including Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Textron. Meanwhile, Bugajski chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

To put it in perspective, it is akin to a Russian with deep ties to the Kremlin and arms-makers arguing that the Kremlin needed to find ways to break up the United States and, if possible, have these breakaway regions absorbed by Mexico and Canada. (A scenario which alas is not as far-fetched as it might have been a few years ago; many thousands in California now openly talk of a “Calexit,” and many more in Mexico of a reconquista.)

Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine a quasi-official voice like Bugajski’s coming out in favor of a similar policy vis-a-vis China, which has its own restive regions, and which in geopolitical terms is no more or less of a threat to the US than Russia. One reason may be that China would consider an American call for secession by the Tibetans or Uyghurs to be a serious intrusion into their internal affairs, unlike Russia, which doesn’t appear to have noticed or been ruffled by Bugajski’s immodest proposal.

Indeed, just as the real scandal in Washington is what’s legal rather than illegal, the real outrage in this case is that few or none in DC finds Bugajski’s virtual declaration of war notable.

But it is. It is the sort of provocation that international incidents are made of, and if you are a US taxpayer, it is being made in your name, and it should be among your outrages of the month.

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At Age 70, Time To Rethink NATO

The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”

So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.

And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.

The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.

Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.

Celebrated as “the most successful alliance in history,” NATO has had two histories. Some of us can yet recall its beginnings.

In 1948, Soviet troops, occupying eastern Germany all the way to the Elbe and surrounding Berlin, imposed a blockade on the city.

The regime in Prague was overthrown in a Communist coup. Foreign minister Jan Masaryk fell, or was thrown, from a third-story window to his death. In 1949, Stalin exploded an atomic bomb.

As the U.S. Army had gone home after V-E Day, the U.S. formed a new alliance to protect the crucial European powers — West Germany, France, Britain, Italy. Twelve nations agreed that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on them all.

Cross the Elbe and you are at war with us, including the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal, Stalin was, in effect, told. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned to Europe to send the message that America was serious.

Crucial to the alliance was the Yalta line dividing Europe agreed to by Stalin, FDR and Churchill at the 1945 Crimean summit on the Black Sea.

U.S. presidents, even when monstrous outrages were committed in Soviet-occupied Europe, did not cross this line into the Soviet sphere.

Truman did not send armored units up the highway to Berlin. He launched an airlift to break the Berlin blockade. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian rebels in 1956. JFK confined his rage at the building of the Berlin Wall to the rhetorical: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

LBJ did nothing to help the Czechs when, before the Democratic convention in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact tank armies to crush the Prague Spring.

When the Solidarity movement of Lech Walesa was crushed in Gdansk, Reagan sent copy and printing machines. At the Berlin Wall in 1988, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Reagan never threatened to tear it down himself.

But beginning in 1989, the Wall was torn down, Germany was united, the Red Army went home, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the USSR broke apart into 15 nations, and Leninism expired in its birthplace.

As the threat that had led to NATO disappeared, many argued that the alliance created to deal with that threat should be allowed to fade away, and a free and prosperous Europe should now provide for its own defense.

It was not to be. The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

This, said Kennan, would “inflame the nationalistic and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations.” Kennan was proven right.

America is now burdened with the duty to defend Europe from the Atlantic to the Baltic, even as we face a far greater threat in China, with an economy and population 10 times that of Russia.

And we must do this with a defense budget that is not half the share of the federal budget or the GDP that Eisenhower and Kennedy had.

Trump is president today because the American people concluded that our foreign policy elite, with their endless interventions where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, had bled and virtually bankrupted us, while kicking away all of the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Halfway into Trump’s term, the question is whether he is going to just talk about halting Cold War II with Russia, about demanding that Europe pay for its own defense, and about bringing the troops home — or whether he is going to act upon his convictions.

Our foreign policy establishment is determined to prevent Trump from carrying out his mandate. And if he means to carry out his agenda, he had best get on with it.

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Photos of new Iskander base near Ukrainian border creates media hype

But research into the photos and cross-checking of news reports reveals only the standard anti-Russian narrative that has gone on for years.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News obtained satellite photos that claim that Russia has recently installed new Iskander missile batteries, one of them “near” to the Ukrainian border. However, what the Fox article does not say is left for the reader to discover: that in regards to Ukraine, these missiles are probably not that significant, unless the missiles are much longer range than reported:

The intelligence report provided to Fox by Imagesat International showed the new deployment in Krasnodar, 270 miles from the Ukrainian border. In the images is visible what appears to be an Iskander compound, with a few bunkers and another compound of hangars. There is a second new installation that was discovered by satellite photos, but this one is much farther to the east, in the region relatively near to Ulan-Ude, a city relatively close to the Mongolian border.

Both Ukraine and Mongolia are nations that have good relations with the West, but Mongolia has good relations with both its immediate neighbors, Russia and China, and in fact participated with both countries in the massive Vostok-2018 military war-games earlier this year.

Fox News provided these photos of the Iskander emplacement near Krasnodar:

Imagesat International

Fox annotated this photo in this way:

Near the launcher, there is a transloader vehicle which enables quick reloading of the missiles into the launcher. One of the bunker’s door is open, and another reloading vehicle is seen exiting from it.

[Fox:] The Iskander ballistic missile has a range up to 310 miles, and can carry both unconventional as well as nuclear warheads, putting most of America’s NATO allies at risk. The second deployment is near the border with Mongolia, in Ulan-Ude in Sothern Russia, where there are four launchers and another reloading vehicle.

[Fox:] Earlier this week, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said authorities of the former Soviet republic are being “controlled” by the West, warning it stands to lose its independence and identity as a consequence. “The continuation of such policy by the Kiev authorities can contribute to the loss of Ukraine’s statehood,” Mr Patrushev told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, according to Russian news agency TASS.

This situation was placed by Fox in context with the Kerch Strait incident, in which three Ukrainian vessels and twenty-four crew and soldiers were fired upon by Russian coast guard ships as they manuevered in the Kerch Strait without permission from Russian authorities based in Crimea. There are many indications that this incident was a deliberate attempt on the part of Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko, to create a sensational incident, possibly to bolster his flagging re-election campaign. After the incident, the President blustered and set ten provinces in Ukraine under martial law for 30 days, insisting to the world, and especially to the United States, that Russia was “preparing to invade” his country.

Russia expressed no such sentiment in any way, but they are holding the soldiers until the end of January. However, on January 17th, a Moscow court extended the detention of eight of these captured Ukrainian sailors despite protests from Kyiv and Washington.

In addition to the tensions in Ukraine, the other significant point of disagreement between the Russian Federation and the US is the US’ plan to withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Russia sees this treaty as extremely important, but the US point of view expressed by John Bolton, National Security Adviser, is that the treaty is useless because it does not include any other parties that have intermediate range nukes or the capability for them, such as Iran, North Korea, and China. This is an unsolved problem, and it is possible that the moves of the Iskander batteries is a subtle warning from the Russians that they really would rather the US stay in the treaty.

Discussions on this matter at public levels between the Russian government and the US have been very difficult because of the fierce anti-Russia and anti-Trump campaigns in the media and political establishments of the United States. President Putin and President Trump have both expressed the desire to meet, but complications like the Kerch Strait Incident conveniently arise, and have repeatedly disrupted the attempts for these two leaders to meet.

Where Fox News appears to get it wrong shows in a few places:

First, the known range for Iskander missiles maxes at about 310 miles. The placement of the battery near Krasnodar is 270 miles from the eastern Ukrainian border, but the eastern part of Ukraine is Russian-friendly and two provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, are breakaway provinces acting as independent republics. The battery appears to be no threat to Kyiv or to that part of Ukraine which is aligned with the West. Although the missiles could reach into US ally Georgia, Krasnodar is 376 miles from Tbilisi, and so again it seems that there is no significant target for these missiles. (This is assuming the location given is accurate.)

Second, the location shown in the photo is (44,47,29.440N at 39,13,04.754E). The date on the “Krasnodar” photo is January 17, 2019. However, a photo of the region taken July 24, 2018 reveals a different layout. It takes a moment or two to study this, but there is not much of an exact match here:

Third, Fox News reported of “further Russian troops deployment and S-400 Surface to air missile days after the escalation started, hinting Russia might have orchestrated the naval incident.”

It may be true that Russia deployed weapons to this base area in Crimea, but this is now Russian territory. S-400s can be used offensively, but their primary purpose is defensive. Troops on the Crimean Peninsula, especially at this location far to the north of the area, are not in a position strategically to invade Kherson Oblast (a pushback would probably corner such forces on the Crimean peninsula with nowhere to go except the Black Sea). However, this does look like a possible defense installation should Ukraine’s forces try to invade or bomb Crimea.

Fox has this wrong, but it is no great surprise, because the American stance about Ukraine and Russia is similar – Russia can do no right, and Ukraine can do no wrong. Fox News is not monolithic on this point of view, of course, with anchors and journalists such as Tucker Carlson, who seem willing to acknowledge the US propaganda about the region. However, there are a lot of hawks as well. While photos in the articles about the S-400s and the Russian troops are accurately located, it does appear that the one about Iskanders is not, and that the folks behind this original article are guessing that the photos will not be questioned. After all, no one in the US knows where anything is in Russia and Ukraine, anyway, right?

That there is an issue here is likely. But is it appears that there is strong evidence that it is opposite what Fox reported here, it leaves much to be questioned.

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